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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-27

Presence

"Come to me all you who are burdened
and I will give you rest"
Here I am, Lord.
I come to seek Your presence.
I long for your healing power.

Freedom

I will ask God's help,

to be free from my own preoccupations,

to be open to God in this time of prayer,

to come to know, love and serve God more.

Consciousness

I ask how I am within myself today? Am I particularly tired, stressed, or off-form?
If any of these characteristics apply, can I try to let go of the concerns that disturb me?

The Word of God

Matthew 20:17-28

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised." Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?'' They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • There is a sense of doom and destiny in Jesus’ words. Like Captain Oates going out into the Antarctic night: ‘I am just going outside and may be some time’. Or like Aslan, the heroic lion in Narnia, walking alone into the hands of the Ice Queen. The anticipation of personal catastrophe chills the heart. When Jesus foretells the Passion, he mentions not just the handover, but the flogging and mocking. It is hard to imagine the terror that must have shadowed his heart in those last weeks.
  • This walk to Jerusalem is heavy with foreboding. Jesus tries to tell the Twelve of the fears that fill his soul: he will be betrayed by friends, delivered to his enemies; he will hear the death sentence read over him; he will suffer injustice, mockery, humiliation, insults; he will undergo the torture of scourging and finally face a horrific death on a gibbet. That is the cup you drank, Lord. If you ask me to share it, give me the strength.

Conversation

Jesus, you always welcomed little children when you walked on this earth. Teach me to have a childlike trust in you. To live in the knowledge that you will never abandon me.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.