Daily Devotion for October 26, 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 the Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Christ Jesus, before ascending into heaven, You promised to send the Holy Spirit to Your apostles and disciples.
Grant that the same Spirit may perfect in my life the work of Your grace and love.
Grant me the Spirit of Fear of the Lord that I may be filled with a loving reverence toward You.
the Spirit of Piety that I may find peace and fulfillment in the service of God while serving others;
the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with You and, with courage, overcome the obstacles that interfere with my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know You and know myself and grow in holiness;
the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Your truth;
the Spirit of Counsel that I may choose the surest way of doing Your will, seeking first the Kingdom;
Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may aspire to the things that last forever;
Teach me to be Your faithful disciple and animate me in every way with Your Spirit.
Community of Prayer
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 14:34-15:6
The Pharisees Send a Delegation from Jerusalem to Gennesaret
[After Christ and Peter walked upon the Sea of Galilee], they crossed over to Gennesaret. When the people came to know him, they sent word throughout the region, bringing the sick to him, and asking only that they might touch the hem of his clothing. And as many as touched, were made whole.
Pharisees and scribes came from Jerusulem and demanded, "Why do your disciples break the traditions handed down for generations? They do not even wash their hands before they eat."
He answered, "Why do you break God's commandments because of your traditions? For God said, 'Honor your father and your mother,' and, 'He who speaks evil of his father or mother, let him die the death.' But when someone tells his parents that he cannot give them as much support as they want, because he has dedicated his life to God, you condemn him; you say he has failed to honor his father. You would nullify the the word of God with your tradition."
Notes on the Scripture
On several occasions, Christ addressed the family obligations of a person who dedicates his life to God's service. The events recorded in Matthew 12:46, when he speaks of his own family, is especially poignant and powerful. In summary, Christ taught that service to God might outweigh the honor due to one's parents and siblings, but that such a person might still give them support and honor.
By the time Christ made his second trip to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, the Hebrew establishment was actively seeking to find charges against him. They send a delegation from Jerusalem, less to investigate than to find grounds on which to convict him. Here, they accuse Christ and his disciples of ignoring Hebrew sanitary laws, specifically the ritual washing before a meal.
In Mark 11:37-40 (which may not be the same occasion), Christ refutes the charge head-on with a diatribe against comtemporary hypocrisy, beginning with the words "You Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and platter, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness."
In this account from Matthew, he answers the question by a more general counter-accusation. Translating the exact meaning is difficult, but apparently, the Hebrews would not allow some full-time teachers or officials to support their parents or siblings from the salary or donations they received, and some part of this tradition or law transgressed the commandment of Exodus 20:12, "Honor your father and your mother . . ."
This is numbered the "Fifth Commandment" by Judaism and most Protestant and Orthodox authorities, the "Fourth Commandment" by Roman Catholic and Lutheran authorities, who number the commandments according to the Questions of Exodus by St. Augustine (Augustine of Hippo).