Daily Devotion for October 17, 2009
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 12:46-50
Christ's Brothers and Sisters
While he was speaking to the multitude, his mother and his siblings were waiting to speak with him. One of the people close to him told him that his family wanted to speak with him. But Christ answered, "Who is my mother? And who are my brothers and sisters?"
And he stretched his hand out towards his disciples, and said, "Behold, my mother and my brethren! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother."
Comment on the Scripture
The full text of this short passage is not often recited; it sounds a bit rude to Christ's mother and does not seem to mean very much in practical terms. If it does seem rude to you, then you should ask yourself some hard questions, because anyone who accepts Christ's divinity must realize that his actions and words are good, and just, and utterly right. Even the much-venerated Virgin Mary must accept the divinity of Christ's person. He is God incarnate. Has she "lost her son" to his mission? No. Just as Christ's divinity transcends his humanity, his importance as the Messiah to Mary and to his siblings is as important to them as it is to anyone else.
We must remember the passage beginning at Matthew 10:34, specifically the words, "He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Mary loves Christ as her savior more than Jesus as her son. And Christ's love for Mary and his siblings, as their God and Savior, is greater than the love of a son for his family. We can, we should, and we must love God in a way that is even greater than the natural love we have for our family.
Moral relativism is widely accepted in real life. If someone's son or daughter has done something wrong, and the parents lie or commit another sin to protect their child from justice, we feel sympathy. Yet, it is without doubt wrong to do so. We must remember that Christ himself was human, and felt the same sympathy. He knew firsthand the emotions, including the painful emotions, that underlie moral relativism.