Monday, February 22, 2010

Tuesday in the First Week of Lent

FIRST READING (Isaiah 55:10-11)
Thus says the Lord: "As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and return not thither but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and prosper in the thing for which I sent it."

GOSPEL (Matthew 6:7-15)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples: "In praying do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

"Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

"For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Helps to understanding the Lord's Prayer (Orthodox Prayer website)

Do you believe that God's word has power to change and transform your life today? (Word of Life Community)

We can count on God's knowledge of us (Creighton University)

Fasting is one way in which the body participates in prayer. Fasting is not simply the observation of certain rigid rules and dietary restrictions. The real purpose of fasting is the renewal of prayer and of our personal relationship with God and our fellow humans. To fast and simply become ill-humoured defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. "What is the purpose of not eating meat," asks Saint Basil, "if instead you devour your brother or sister?" Through fasting, through learning to do without certain foods you take for granted, through eating more simply, we renew the participation of our bodies. The body is the messenger of the soul. The purpose of fasting is to give us freedom for prayer. Lent is a school of freedom, a season freeing us from dependence on physical power. Indeed through fasting we are able to see the beauty and wonder of the food that we eat. Fasting helps us not to take food for granted.
(Bishop Kallistos Ware, from his 1999 retreat "Sacraments of Healing")

Look down upon thy household, O Lord,
and grant that our souls,
chastened by the mortification of the flesh,
may glow in Thy sight with the desire for Thee.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Ghost,
God world without end. Amen.

[This day the Church also honours St Polycarp. Go HERE to find out about him.]


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