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, March 7, 2022

Prayers of the People: All Us Chickens ~ 2nd Sunday in Lent '22 Yr C

For Sunday, March 13, 2022; Readings: Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18; Psalm 27, Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35

   The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, “Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.” [Genesis 15:1]

     The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom then should I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom then should I be afraid? [Psalm 27:1]

     Brothers and sisters, join in imitating me...For many live as enemies of the cross of Christ...Their end is destruction; their god is the belly; and their glory is their shame; their minds are set on earthly things. But our citizenship is in heaven... stand firm in the Lord... [Philippians 3:18a, 19-20a, 4:1b]

      Jerusalem, Jerusalem...How often I have desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings and you were not willing! [Luke 13:34b]

                Before he becomes Abraham, the childless Abram, even with his substantial wealth, bemoans to God that his only heir is a slave born in his house. We remember where this story goes as God gives to the faithful Abraham the children he desires and the descendants that number as the stars. The message we are to receive is that through our own faithfulness and sacrifice, God speaks to us also when he says, Do not be afraid…I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.
    The Psalmist echoes the confidence we can have in God and the comfort we can take in not being fearful in either the ordinary moments or in the extraordinary. God is the light in our darkness, our strength and our salvation in all parts of this life.
     Paul is chiding the Philippians in this letter and warning them about their attachments to earthly things. He harshly reminds them, and us, that we must learn to recognize our own inconsistencies, divided loyalties, and the complacency that results in them, and us, being enemies of the cross of Christ. For those who are not living as Christ would have them live, their god is the belly. Paul’s true and heartfelt intention is for us to imitate his example and model our lives ~ as much as we are able ~ on Christ. We who are faithful will be transformed by the commitment to Jesus and, therefore, our primary citizenship is in heaven, rather than in this brief human sojourn.
     Jesus speaks bluntly to the unusually well-intentioned Pharisees in a foreshadowing of the three days to come. The Pharisees were no fans of the Herod family and Jesus took their warning as sincere. He then gives them a message for that fox that lets them know that he has no fear of Herod, fully understands what is to come, and is deliberately walking into it all. Jesus scolds Jerusalem for her unwillingness to be gathered as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, as he would gather us. Yet the hope of things to come remains in his cryptic telling that he will not be seen until…
    These readings tell us, in this renewing season of Lent, to be less fearful in our everyday life and not to seek God in the stuff of earth. It is clear, however, that while we are in this mortal moment, we have much to do. We are charged with being faithful, as Paul tells us, to live in, with, and as Christ did; we also are to speak truth to power as Jesus did with the Pharisees. Rather than chickening out, let all us chickens begin this week by chickening in to whatever comes in turning our lives to Jesus, willing to gather under his wings, and be a holy, busy, and faith-filled brood awaiting the Blessed…one who comes in the name of the Lord.


Leader:  ~ Lord of Light and Salvation, we look to You for the courage to release ourselves from the earthly traps and tinsel that beguile us into complacency of faith. Free us of the fear to conform our lives to Christ, standing firm in Him in this life, so to attain our place in the next.

                                                     O Christ, hear us         
RESPONSE:                 Have mercy upon us
~ Lord of Light and Salvation, steady our hearts and minds amidst these unsettling times. Grant us the courage and fortitude to boldly bear witness to and proclaim the Gospel, upholding Your message of peace, justice, and humanity, to all Leaders and Legislators in our Country, in our Community, and across our World. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O Christ, hear us
                                                       Have mercy upon us

~ Lord of Light and Salvation, comfort all who are in distress from chronic pain, serious addiction, and mental illness; and sustain the hope of all who give them care. We now join our voices to pray aloud for those in need… add your own petitions

                                                       O Christ, hear us
                                                       Have mercy upon us

~ Lord of Light and Salvation, lift the weight from grieving hearts, as those we send ahead to Heaven’s eternal splendor, now live again where tears and trials are no more. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O Christ, hear us
                                                       Have mercy upon us

~  Lord of Light and Salvation, we pause in this moment to offer You our other heartfelt thanksgivings, intercessions, petitions, and memorials, aloud or silently… add your own petitions

                                                        O Christ, hear us
                                                       Have mercy upon us            

~ Lord of Light and Salvation, grant extra strength and wisdom in mind, heart, and spirit to all who are ordained to the yoke of Christ as our pastoral guides, in triumph and tribulation. We pray especially for: add your own petitions

                                                       O Christ, hear us
                                                       Have mercy upon us         

The Celebrant adds: O Jesus, our Christ, blessed are You who comes to gather us as Your own brood, not as enemies of Your Cross, but with willing, faithful, and trusting acceptance in our citizenship of heaven, this day and always. We ask through the Holy Spirit, our Advocate; and our Creator, Most High; who together with You are One God, forever and ever. Amen.


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