A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.


Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Prayers of the People: What's the Manna? 3rd Sunday in Lent, Yr C

For Sunday, February 28, 2016, 3rd Sunday in Lent, Year C, Readings: Exodus 3:1-15, Ps 63:1-8, 1Cor 10:1-13, Luke 13:1-9

        There the angel appeared to [Moses] in a flame of fire out of a bush...the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed...When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush..."...Remove your sandals...for the place you are standing on is holy ground." [Exodus 3:2, 4b, 5b]

        My soul clings to you, your right hand holds me fast. [Psalm 63:8] 

        [O]ur ancestors...all ate the same spiritual food and all drank...from the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ...Do not become idolaters as some of them did... [1 Corinthians 10:1b, 3b, 4b, 7a]

        "Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans? No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did"..."A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener...Cut it down!" [The gardener] replied, "Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down."
[Luke 13:2-3, 6-7b, 8]


              Jesus seems to have a thing for fig trees. In Mark 11 and Matthew 21 he curses a fig tree that wasn't bearing fruit when he was ready to eat, and in each case it withers. But in his parable here in Luke, the gardener prevails against the owner's wishes to have the fruitless tree cut down, at least temporarily. Of course we don't know what happened the next year, but it is a story ripe for thought. Jesus begins by telling his audience that just because some Galileans suffered doesn't mean they were worse people than others and reminds the listeners - and us - to repent and be saved from their fate. This particular fig tree hasn't borne any fruit and yet the gardener pleads for another chance to save it. That tree may only have the one more year but God's patience with us is never-ending, at least, until THE end.  
            Paul reminds us that God gave those who Moses brought out of Egypt all the spiritual food and drink they needed and yet, though filled with God's grace and goodness, many failed God through sin and were struck down. 
           To borrow again from Mark and Matthew, we do not know the day or the hour that God will come for us. Lent seems a perfect time to listen, to hear, and to do a little digging and gardening within ourselves. Jesus, the fruit of Mary's womb, is our own Spiritual Food, the Manna from Heaven in our own lives. Repent - turn toward God, again. Be fruitful and God's grace and favor will multiply within us.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ God, our Creator, before birth You seeded us with Your Divine Plan, and provided us with the spiritual food to bring us to full flower. Guide us from the weeds of worldly complacency to bear the fruit of Your love for all we meet.

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
RESPONSE:           Let us cling to You in our repentance

~ God, our Creator, plant our feet deeply in Your Holy Ground that we may not be consumed by the idolatry of political rhetoric that blazes out of control. For all who govern in this world, in this nation, and in this city, or seek to, help us to chart a course out of the wasteland of inhumanity and injustice. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
Let us cling to You in our repentance

~ God, our Creator, tend the needs of all who are suffering with constant pain, debilitating anxiety, or other life-altering issue, and revive the spirits of their caregivers. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
Let us cling to You in our repentance

~ God, our Creator, heal the hearts of those who grieve, as those we have sent home to You now reap the rewards of faith-filled living. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
Let us cling to You in our repentance

~ God, our Creator, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt intentions and petitions, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
Let us cling to You in our repentance

~ God, our Creator, we offer our thanksgiving for those anointed as the gardeners of our spiritual growth. Grant them the tools to nurture our roots, as we open ourselves to allow Your work within us to sprout. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

Jesus, Manna of our Souls
Let us cling to You in our repentance
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  Lord of the Eternal Harvest, again and again You give us chances to till the ground of our being, freely prune the sin from our hearts, and repent. Speak to us from within so we may hear again and choose true life with You. We ask through Jesus, our Master Gardener, and the Holy Spirit, our Spark of Life, who together with You reign as One God, now and forever. Amen.



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