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.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Prayers of the People: Pride of Place, 15th Sunday after Pentecost Yr C

For Sunday, August 28, 2016, 15th Sunday after Pentecost, Year C, Readings: Jeremiah 2:4-13, Ps 81:1, 10-16, Hebrews 13: 1-8, 15-16, Luke 14:1, 7-14

        Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water. [Jeremiah 2:12-13]

        Sing with joy to God our strength...I am the Lord your God..."Open your mouth wide and I will fill it." Yet my people did not hear my voice...So I gave them over to the stubbornness of their hearts. Oh that my people would listen to me! that Israel would walk in my ways! Those who hate the Lord would cringe before him, and their punishment would last forever. But Israel would I feed with the finest wheat and satisfy him with honey from the rock. [Ps 81: 1a, 10, 12-13, 15-16]

        Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it...Keep  your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have...Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you, consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Through him, then, let us offer a sacrifice of praise to God... [Hebrews 13:2, 5, 7-8, 15]

        But when you are invited, go and sit at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, "Friend, move up higher"...For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted." [ Luke 14:10-11]

        Humility. Love. Hospitality. Contentment. Worship. Simplistic perhaps, but in my mind, these are the basic elements of the readings for this week, the minimal requirements for a life in faith. I place humility first as without true humility, we are not able to honestly embrace and live in and through the others. It is also, I believe, the most difficult to inhabit.
       Who of us doesn't or wouldn't feel proud and pleased with a prestigious invitation, having a beautiful home, or wearing the best clothes? Those things in themselves are not bad at all, but rather, as always, it's how we reflect these kinds of acquisitions in our lives. If, within our attitudes, it places us above any others, then we have wandered away from God's path and dug out cisterns for ourselves. We are perfectly justified to be content with what we have as long as we "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have..." [Hebrews 13:16] especially among those who cannot repay us.
       But humility is a tricky aspect of character. While philanthropy and generosity are well and fine and necessary, we must take care to be sincere, and genuine. Some of us may have to start small and practice this virtue often until the true spirit of it takes hold. [Yes, let that car in ahead of you in traffic and don't say or even think those words.] Jesus doesn't want us to be proud of our humility!
       Once we are truly humble we won't know it and we will naturally exude the love which will naturally manifest in hospitality to others, contentment with what we have, and show our respect, love, and worship of God in every thought, word, and action. Tough work ahead and, if we do it right, we won't know we've gotten there until we get THERE. Pride of place is a cracked cistern that holds no water. Let us immerse ourselves in God, the fountain of living water.

LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ O God, Fount of Living Water, cleanse us from stubbornness of heart and wash away our mortal discontents. Open our ears to hear Your voice and listen to Your words, that we may walk in Your ways in humility, with contrition, and by a continual sacrifice of praise to You.

                                                O Lord, our God
RESPONSE:   Our Help and our Strength

~ O God, Fount of Living Water, immerse the souls of those who wield international, national, and local power in compassion, generosity, and thoughtful justice. Stem the tide of hatred, violence, and misery in our own country and across the globe. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
                                               
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, refresh the spirits of those laid low by serious illness and all who are in critical life circumstance, and lift the energies of all support providers. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need…  add your own petitions


                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
           
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, rescue those drowning in grief with the comfort of knowing that our loved ones are now exalted to a place of honor at Your heavenly and eternal feast. We pray especially for:  add your own petitions


                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength

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

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
           
~ O God, Fount of Living Water, shower Your blessings upon those who lead us in Your church, who speak Your word to us, and teach us, by example, to imitate their faith and thoughtfully consider the outcome of our own way of life. In the name of Jesus our Christ, who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, we pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                O Lord, our God
                                                Our Help and our Strength
                                                                                                        
The Celebrant adds:  O God of Purest Sustenance, nourish our hearts with divine honey from the Rock of our Salvation. Let our place at Your holy table be lower than the place we offer to others, as we entertain angels unaware, and may each facet of our lives reflect our love, and worship of You and all of Your Creation. We ask through Christ our Constant and Eternal Savior, and the Holy Spirit, the Sacred Breath of Heaven, who together with You are One God, from before the beginning to beyond the end. Amen.






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