Awaken to the mystery of being here, and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence. (John O’Donohue)
O God of the poor and meek, form us into people who do not conform to the patterns of this world but who conform to the norms of your upside-down kingdom. Give us the eyes to see you in those who suffer. Surprise us in the faces of the least of these. Move us into the margins of this world, and help us to find you there, in your most distressing disguises.
(Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals)
Scripture Zechariah 8:20-23
20 Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; 21 the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Come, let us go to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.” 22 Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the favour of the Lord. 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from nations of every language shall take hold of a Jew, grasping his garment and saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
51 When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. 52 And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to
make ready for him; 53 but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. 54 When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” 55 But he turned and rebuked them. 56 Then they went on to another village.
57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The latter half of Luke’s gospel, as Jesus embarks on his great journey to his death at Jerusalem, is marked by his teaching on the difficulties and challenges of discipleship. Right at the beginning comes the little lesson that the disciple must not be surprised, or take vengeance, at rejection. Then, three lessons on the uncompromising demands of discipleship. These are not “counsels of perfection”, but demanded of every disciple of Jesus…… These conditions may seem unfeeling and unacceptably harsh: Jesus expresses his teaching with maximum vigour. This is partly the nature of the Semitic language, which rarely uses a comparative. It is either day or night, no dusk! But we must beware of softening what must remain hard.
From “The Sunday Word” by Henry Wansborough OSB
Lord, make us to walk in your way;
where there is love and wisdom,
there is neither fear nor ignorance;
where there is patience and humility,
there is neither anger nor annoyance;
where there is poverty and joy,
there is neither greed nor ambition;
where there is peace and true prayer,
there is neither care nor restlessness;
where there is the fear of God to guard the heart,
there no enemy can enter;
where there is mercy and prudence,
there is neither excess nor harshness;
this we know through the example
of him who laid down his life for us,
your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
(Saint Francis of Assissi: “The Admonitions XXVII”)
Join us for Monthly Prayers at CAFOD Salford, Katherine House, every first Tuesday of the month.