Faith Daily | 2 March 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Two
Remember, O Lord,
what you have wrought in us
and not what we deserve,
and, as you have called us to your service,
make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p484
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 23 1:12
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2“The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; 3therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. 4They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. 5They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. 6They love to have the place of honour at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, 7and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have people call them rabbi. 8But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. 9And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. 10Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. 11The greatest among you will be your servant. 12All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Meredith Scott-McMahon
In Jesus’ day, the Pharisees were an outstanding example of people who put on a mask of righteousness while under the surface, were something else far less admirable. It’s easy to objectify them and see them as shallow hypocritical people (which maybe not all of them were), harder to apply the message to our own lives.
But I began to think of the masks we all wear as we enter the various spheres and interact with different groups in our lives. So much social conditioning cautions us to appear in certain ways, and it’s easy to lose one’s real self in the personae one creates. And then sometimes to let the inflated ego take charge, even in prayer and meditation!
Humility is like a butterfly – hard to pin down and hold. I sometimes catch myself mid-thought and see the image I’m creating for others to see, rather than the authentic soul that Jesus loves, strengthens and encourages me to present to him in prayer.
But it’s often only through those glimpses of my self-delusion that I can be who I really am, knowing that Jesus loves me exactly as I am but will never give up on his work of my soul’s transformation.
The recent study of the psalms in the Thursday study group revealed the brutal honesty and authenticity of the early ancestors of our faith as they poured out their anger, bitterness and hurt, but always came to awareness of God’s faithfulness and love for them.
FINAL PRAYER: Trisagion APBA p.121
Holy and mighty
Holy and immortal:
Have mercy on us.