Daily Devotion for March 4, 2018
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 trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Kyrie Eleison is a chant from the earliest days of Christendom. The Greek words are simply Kyrie eleison, Christe eleison — “Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us.” This modernized version is based on a very old and very beautiful nine-part setting.
For Sunday Morning
Oh heavenly Lord, who decreed that we should take one day of rest, one special day in remembrance of you, today I celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the moment of His glorious victory over death. I add my voice to countless millions of others in thanks, in praise, and in awe of Your sacrifice for us.
Help me, dear Lord, to dedicate these few moments to You completely. You have taught us that we may dwell with you, even while we are caught in this difficult world, and I pray to dwell with you fully now. Guard me against wandering of mind and the intrusion of mundane thought, so that I may be fully present with you, through the power of Your Holy Spirit.
And in the coming week, I pray that my mind may constantly turn to you, so that I may always remember you when I am tempted to anger, to selfishness, to lust for power and the vanities of this world, or any of the myriad temptations that might assail me in the course of life. In the name of Christ and through faith in Him, I pray,
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the week and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me today and throughout the coming week, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Community of Prayer
I pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 86:1-5 (NKJV)
Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my life, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
John 14:6-14 (NASB)
I Am the Way
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; . . .”
Notes on the Scripture
There are many people in the world who, if they hold a preconception, will not abandon it no matter how much evidence they see to the contrary. A person who has a superstition about Friday the 13th could win the lottery and find out his cancer is cured on a Friday the 13th, and he would still think the day is unlucky and be afraid of it.
owhere do we see this more clearly than in the Bible. God led the Hebrews out of Egypt and fed them in the wilderness, all the while performing visible miracles right in front of them; yet, as soon as Moses went up the mountain, they built a golden calf and worshipped it. Here, Philip, who has seen Christ perform miracle after miracle, wants Jesus to “show us the Father.” Jesus is incredulous. He has performed miracle after miracle — and yet, one of his most faithful followers wants more proof.
Jesus convinces him by simply asking Philip to believe Him. Thomas also seems to have questions, and we still call an unreasonable skeptic “doubting Thomas” today (although more because of a similar incident in John 20).
I have often heard people who (like Philip) wanted a “sign from God” to help make a decision in their life. But God’s answer in this passage—and, I suspect, His answer for us today— is that we have already received all the signs we need. At some point, signs from God will end and we will hear the voice of judgment. Christ will not return to make more converts (with the possible exception of some Jews); He will return to claim those who have shown faith in Him and judge those who have not. (Matthew 25:31-46)
Paul puts a different twist on things. Those whom God has not contacted directly have no excuse for not realizing His existence, Paul tells us. “[S]ince the creation of the world” God has shown us who He is and what He is like “by the things that are made.” (Romans 1:20) Paul echoes Psalm 19: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament [the sky] shows His handiwork. . . . There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard.”
So let us not be asking God for more signs; let us instead give thanks and praise for His mercy and love, in giving us the abundance of signs and miracles we see every day. We may always pray for miracles, of course; that He will heal our disease, that He will call a wayward child. But when we do, we ask for something in this world, knowing that His salvation is already sufficient for us. We do not pray for a miracle in order to prove His existence or His love.