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Daily Devotion for November 17, 2011
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.
O magnum mysterium,
et admirabile sacramentum,
ut animalia viderent Dominum natum,
jacentem in praesepio!
Beata Virgo, cujus viscera
meruerunt portare Dominum Christum.
O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear Christ the Lord. Alleluia!
Prayer for the MorningFor the bird who sings outside my window,
For the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says "good morning",
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,
Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To see them all and know that you are here.
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
But the way of the unfaithful is hard.
Romans 11:11-16 (ESV)
The Importance of Judaism to the Gentiles
So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion mean!
Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul has been very tough on the Jews, especially in the first verses of Romans 11, pointing out how frequently they had stumbled and how, at times, only a handful of the entire Hebrew nation remained faithful to God under the old covenant. In fact, just 200 years earlier, during the times of Judas Maccabeus, Judaism had come close to total destruction.
Paul calls the partial falling away of the Jews "stumbling", and they stumbled often, but they never "fell"; i.e., there was always a faithful contingent who were eventually triumphant. Paul now says that God will not allow the Jews to fall, simply because so many have failed to recognize the fulfillment of their covenant in the coming of Christ, the Messiah. Rather, although much of the "tree" of Judaism that sprang from the holy root of Jesse is now dead, a new branch is fully alive; for, as the prophets foretold, the Messiah came from the tree of Jesse both in flesh (Mary was a blood descendant of Jesse) and in spirit (Christ was the spiritual fulfillment of the Jewish covenant with God).
The word "jealousy", as we use it today, does not accurately connote Paul's meaning. We think of jealousy as involving dislike of the person we feel jealous towards and a desire to take it away from him. But the Jews whom Paul seeks to make jealous are not going to take his life in the Holy Spirit away; nor does he mean for them to dislike him. He simply means that he want other Jews to see his joy and to want it for themselves.