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, January 17, 2017

Prayers of the People: Go Fish, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany Yr A '17

For Sunday, January 22, 2017, 3rd Sunday after Epiphany, Year A, Readings: Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27:1, 5-13, 1 Corinthians 1:10-18, 
Matthew 4:12-23

     The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness ~ on them light has shined. [Isaiah 9:2]

    The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom then should I fear...Hearken to my voice, O Lord, when I call; have mercy on me and answer me. [Psalm 27:1a, 10]

    Now I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose. [1 Corinithians 1:10]

    As [Jesus] walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers...casting a net into the sea ~ for they were fishermen. And he said to them, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." ...Jesus went throughout Galilee...proclaiming the good news of the kingdom... [Matthew 4:18-19, 23]

     Sometimes, even the smallest amount of good news feels like a small ray of light in the darkness that fosters the hope that things will get better. Sometimes, even that tiny beam of light is very difficult to find and only on faith ~ shaky as it can be ~ will we find the ability to keep moving forward into the always unknown. Isaiah and the Psalmist remind us that the Light is always there even when we feel lost in the shadows. 
      Paul is speaking to us in our own time through his letter to the Church in Corinth: be in agreement...no divisions among us...be united in the same mind and the same purpose and even more appropriate to now, he warns us not to divide Christ. How many Christian denominations out shout one another as the only source for the "true" message of Jesus? How incredibly difficult is it to heal divisions in political opinion let alone in religious? In these often dark and dreary times, in a world seemingly gone mad with violence in action and in words, we are called to put aside our ideological differences and follow the message of Christ's Gospel: love God, love our neighbors as ourselves, proclaim his Gospel, his good news of the kingdom, in all we do and say. 
      Jesus called the soon-to-be disciples away from their fishing boats and nets to follow him and become fishers of people. What does that mean for us? The fisher-folk that I know often start in the darkness of the early morning and insist on being quiet as they wait on the shore, wade into a stream, or move across the water in a small boat waiting for the bait to attract and catch the fish. Even in the darkest moments of life, let us each seek the Light within ourselves however faint and distant it seems. Let us allow ourselves to be reeled into the net that Jesus has set for us, as only when we ourselves are caught can we inhabit the Word, and begin to attract others to the splendid shore of Salvation. Oh, and we can be quiet yet open ~ we'll catch more, or lose more, by our ways and attitudes; we do not need to be eloquent, just sincere. Time again to follow Jesus, our Captain, with the help of the Holy Spirit, our Navigator. Time to go fish!  


LET US, GOD’S PEOPLE, PRAY

Leader:  ~ Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, grant us the desire to be proclaimers of Your Good News, to beckon the world to Your Shore, and to be among those caught up in the nets of Your Saving Grace and Glory.
                                               
                                                  Hear us, O Lord
RESPONSE:           Have mercy and answer us

~ Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, inspire and transform the wills of all who govern the peoples of this World, this Country, and this Community, to ensure the care of our planet and the well-being of all humanity through peace, equality, and sustenance. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Hear us, O Lord
                                                Have mercy and answer us
                                               
~ Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, heal the hearts, minds, and bodies of all who are ill, weary, or frightened, and give comfort to all who offer care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                Hear us, O Lord
                                                Have mercy and answer us
           
~ Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, banish the gloom of bereavement for all who mourn, as You joyfully embrace those who live again in Your glorious and eternal paradise. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Hear us, O Lord
                                                Have mercy and answer us

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

                                                Hear us, O Lord
                                                Have mercy and answer us
           
~ Jesus, our Light and our Salvation, excite again the spirits of all who lead us in Your Church and exhort us to live in and carry forward the power of Your Cross in our lives. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                Hear us, O Lord
                                                Have mercy and answer us
                                                                                                        

The Celebrant adds:  O God our Refuge and our Strength, endow us in our own day with faithfulness and fortitude to be united with one purpose and one mind as devoted messengers of Your Word and Sacrifice. We ask through Jesus, the Captain of our ship, and the Holy Spirit, our Navigator, who with You are our One God, now and forever. Amen.





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