Morning or midday prayer is a practice of pausing to connect with God through quiet reflection, daily readings and prayers. You can use the following for your own time of prayer today or as a family prayer time today.
Wednesday, April 2, 2020
[begin with a few deep breaths, becoming aware of God, yourself and your surroundings]
O Lord, open my lips.
And my mouth will proclaim your praise.
“O give thanks to the Lord who is good,
whose faithful love endures forever.”
Let the redeemed of the Lord say this,
those redeemed from the hand of the foe,
and gathered from far-off lands,
from east and west, north and south.
They wandered in a barren desert,
finding no way to a city they could dwell in.
Hungry they were and thirsty;
their soul was fainting within them.
Then they cried to the Lord in their need,
and God rescued them from their distress,
guiding them along a straight path,
to reach a city they could dwell in.
Let them give thanks for the love of the Lord,
such wonders for the human race:
God satisfies the thirsty soul,
and fills the hungry with good things.
Glory to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
As ever before, so now and forevermore. Amen.
Faithful God, your love endures forever. In trust we lift up our needs to you and pray: O God, hear us.
Inspire missionaries, preachers, and Sunday School teachers as they seek to bring your saving Word to others, especially as they dream up new ways of bringing your Word to others in this time. O God, hear us.
Unite Christians in works of mercy for the homeless, the hungry, and the destitute, especially as they bring the love and comfort of Jesus to those most affected by this pandemic. O God, hear us.
Rescue those who are fleeing from danger or seeking shelter, especially all who will find themselves in places lacking adequate housing, medical aid, and preventative measures. O God, hear us.
Our Father who art in heaven, …
May God satisfy our minds and hearts with Christ, the Living Word, and enrich our lives with every gift of the Spirit. Amen.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John 8:51-59
Jesus said to the Jews: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” So the Jews said to him, “Now we are sure that you are possessed. Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? Or the prophets, who died? Who do you make yourself out to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is worth nothing; but it is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ You do not know him, but I know him. And if I should say that I do not know him, I would be like you a liar. But I do know him and I keep his word. Abraham your father rejoiced to see my day; he saw it and was glad.” So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, before Abraham came to be, I AM.” So they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid and went out of the temple area.
Reflection: To Live a New Way
Jesus represented the final covenant God made with humankind. The sign of this covenant bore no mark of earthly distinctiveness—no tree of good and evil, no rainbow, no circumcision, no Passover lamb. The mark of the new covenant was Jesus Christ and his new way of living, distinguishing God’s chosen people from all others. Christ’s way of living was a new kind of circumcision, marked on the hearts of Christ’s followers by “the two-edged sword of God’s Word” (see Heb 4:12). God designed that a divinely chosen people should be distinguished from all others by the kind of love Jesus generously displayed.
Christian identity is marked not by a knife but by the waters of baptism. In that sacred rite, a former way of living marked by the spirit of this world is put to death. From these waters, God’s new Israel emerges to live a new way, marked out by Jesus in the kingdom he came to proclaim here on earth.
More to the point, the true followers of Christ, claiming membership in the “true religion,” are those whose communion is marked by the values, the attitudes, and the priorities of Jesus. The people of true faith are those who, by their surrender to the Holy Spirit, guarantee that the two-edged sword of God’s Word will carve into their hearts the identity of Jesus’ personhood. That carving implies the pain of breaking with the spirit of this world. But if that is the sacrifice we are willing to share with Christ, his identity will become visible in a Church clearly distinguishable by her consent to carry the cross.
Finally, here’s something for a bit of a smile and laugh … a link to the Getty Museum’s take on how classic pieces of art would look given their own response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Those of us now living in the world of Zoom will appreciate their take on The Last Supper by Da Vinci: click here.
Most materials in this Daily Prayer resource are from Give Us This Day, March 2020 – a prayer resource for the Church.
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