Faith Daily | 1 March 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p482
O Lord, who for our sake fasted forty days and forty nights:
give us grace to use such abstinence,
that, our flesh being subdued to the spirit,
we may ever obey your godly will
in righteousness and true holiness;
to your honour and glory,
who live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, world without end.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 11: 29-32
29When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation. 31The queen of the South will rise at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here! 32The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here!
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Cathy Grant
When I was a child, my grandmother repeatedly warned me of the consequences of running down her steep front stairs. Over and over she warned me, sharing stories of the child next door who fell and broke his arm and the rushing milkman who tripped and showered glass bottles and milk everywhere. Did I listen? Not for a moment! I was strong and knew what I was doing. Nothing was going to happen to me! ……..Luckily, when I inevitably came a cropper, it was towards the bottom of the flight of steps and miraculously I was only a few bruises worse off.
Jesus words have an edge of frustration, exasperation even, as he tries yet again to explain to people that they need to repent and turn to God – or face the consequences. He uses familiar stories and parallels (for that time) to make his point: Even Jonah, the reluctant and somewhat comical prophet, was heeded when he told the people of Nineveh to repent! Yet here is Jesus with greater wisdom than Solomon ignored by his own people. And even foreigners including the Queen of the South, will “rise at the judgment” forgiven and resurrected! But not Jerusalem, unless it listens and changes its ways.
I pray that I will listen well to Jesus’ warnings, that I will hear and repent and turn to God, always. I pray that I will not stray into the pride of self-sufficiency or assume that I can do as I please and that “Nothing is going to happen to me!” I pray that like the faithful foreigners Jesus speaks of in this passage, I too will rise on that day of judgement to dwell eternally with our Lord.
TiS 559 “A new heart, create in me” Heinrich Georg Neuss 1654-1716
A new heart, Lord, create in me,
a heart from sin and guilt set free;
O close the gate and guard the door,
that sin may enter in no more.
To you my soul I open wide;
come, Jesus, and in me abide,
and from the temple of my heart
make all unrighteousness depart.
O let your Holy Spirit’s light,
with all your heavenly radiance bright,
flow through my spirit like a flood,
eternal source of every good.
Thus to my cleansed and contrite heart
your heavenly riches, Lord, impart,
so that your wisdom, truth, and grace
may make my heart a fruitful place.
Then I will tell in grateful song
the praises that to you belong;
my joy will be, my whole life through,
to consecrate myself to you.