Faith Daily | 14 October 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p591
in your wisdom you have so ordered our earthly life
that we must walk by faith and not by sight:
give such trust in your fatherly care
that in the face of all perplexities
we may give proof of our faith by the courage of our lives;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 11: 47-54
47Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, “I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute”, 50so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.’
53 When he went outside, the scribes and the Pharisees began to be very hostile towards him and to cross-examine him about many things, 54lying in wait for him, to catch him in something he might say.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Rev’d Jan
Yesterday’s reflection by Paul McLaughlin made me think a little differently about the “woe to you” when Paul commented that it is an expression as much of pity as anger. As always, Jesus invites others to see more clearly, to see as God sees.
Today’s passage targets the lawyers.. and Jesus makes a very damning comment. He accuses them of making laws that actually prevent people from true knowledge, and, moveover, they themselves did not enter that truth of awareness of good and evil, the foundation of a well-informed conscience,…… “you did not enter yourselves.”
We need laws. Yet, it is from the voice of the Holy Spirit within us, speaking through a well-informed conscience, that we know how to act. As Christians we live in the ‘holding patterns’ and constructs of this world – yet our deeper framework, our lens, is the Word of God informing how we live and act.
John Henry Newman, Anglican priest and then Roman Catholic priest and Cardinal (1801-1890) is quoted as saying on conscience: “Conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ”. For Newman, conscience is the human capacity to recognise the objective truth about good and evil, as the voice of God echoing in the heart of every human being.
May that echoing be our heartbeat!
John Newman also wrote hymns – we are actually singing one on Sunday at 7am. I include a few verses as our prayer: TiS 141
Praise to the Holiest in the height,
and in the depth be praise:
in all his words most wonderful,
most sure in all his ways.
O wisest love, that flesh and blood,
which did in Adam fail,
should strive afresh against the foe,
should strive and should prevail;
and that a higher gift than grace
should flesh and blood refine,
God’s presence and his very self,
and essence all-divine.