Morning Prayer: June 9th

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Psalm: 105:1-22
Old Testament: Ezekiel 18:1-4;19-32
New Testament: Hebrews 7:18-28

β€˜Why should not the son suffer for the iniquity of the father?’ When the son has done what is lawful and right, and has been careful to observe all my statutes, he shall surely live. The person who sins shall die. A child shall not suffer for the iniquity of a parent, nor a parent suffer for the iniquity of a child; the righteousness of the righteous shall be his own, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be his own. (Ezekiel 18:19-20)

It may not seem like it on first read….but this prophetic shift in Ezekiel is HUGE . When the law of YHWH was revealed at Sinai, it was made explicitly clear that sin is a generational burden.. Of course the opposite was true as well……righteousness also extended to children…but the idea was that everyone was responsible for the whole well-being of the community.

Now…God declares through Ezekiel that the old ways are gone. God has now decided that each individual is only responsible for him or herself.

In an amazing declaration, God declares that the wicked who repent will no longer have their sins remembered….that they will be washed clean indeed. Through the power of Grace and Love, there is no point where we are beyond redemption. Alleluia! Alleluia!

If you get a chance in the next little bit, why not gather with a priest and celebrate the Sacrament of Reconciliation? It gives us a chance to confess to God our sins…those times when we have missed the mark, and to gain encouragement from a fellow brother or sister in Christ to continue striving to live fully in the Lord.

More than that, we are given absolution. reminded that Jesus came to save us, and rejoices over one sinner who returns than 100 righteous ones. I for one, place hope in that promise. πŸ™‚

Each day, we are given the chance to embrace our hearts of flesh…..and to remember that through Christ….all sins are forgiven, and we are loved beyond all telling.

My dear readers…..my brothers and sisters…go in peace and pray for me, a sinner + ❀

Evening Prayer: Feb. 7th

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Psalm: 77
Gospel: Mark 9:30-41
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from St. Bonaventure’s Breviloquium (Scroll down to second reading)

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, β€˜Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ (Mark 9:36-37)

If I may, I would like to share a personal story….. πŸ˜€

Last year, I had the privilege and honour to preach on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Technically, I should not be allowed to do this as I have no lay license, nor am I ordained :P.

But by the grace of God, I find myself with a congregation and pastor at St. Jude’s who have been kind enough to let me hone my homiletical skills I began to learn in seminary school, and are incredibly supportive of my ministry.

For that continued trust and oppurtunity, I am blessed, humbled and eternally grateful. ❀

In preparing the sermon, I was incredibly perplexed and nervous. What could I possibly say about a parable that is so well known and ingrained in the Christian consciousness???

I had all the exegesis done……I knew the basic narrative structure, the emphasis on repentance, the unconditional love of the Father for us all……But I felt like there was no way I could express it accurately……And then, a mircale happend πŸ˜€

On March 8th, my nephew Liam was born, and the lightbulb went on for me.

God loves us–all of us–as precious infants. With no precondition, no expectations, no hinderances……He just loves us as we are, and through all of our ups and downs. πŸ˜€

When I finally realized this….and proclaimed it out loud on Sunday….something changed within me. I realized that in the same way I could love my nephew in the first second of meeting him, that is how we are all viewed by the Father. As such, that is how we are called to recognize others. After all, we are all children of God. πŸ™‚

Our friends, family, and even those we hate were at one time tiny infants. At one time, we were all innocent and totally dependent on another for our lives and for love and affection. None of us can claim to be any more or less special than anyone else on earth. We are all precious to God and to one another. :D. Alleluia! Alleluia! ❀

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