St. Francis Receiving the Stigmata by Jan van Eyck, ca. 1432. Francis of Assisi is synonymous with the abandonment of wealth to follow Christ. This very early masterpiece by van Eyck shows him at the extreme, when he would not even wear sandals.
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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 of Thanks and Blessings
Father, Thank You for each and every day You have blessed us here on earth.
Thank You for Your tender mercies.
Thank You for giving us friends and family to share joys and sorrows with.
I ask You to bless my friends, relatives, brothers and sisters in Christ and
those I care deeply for, and especially those who are praying with me right now.
Where there is joy, give them continued joy.
Where there is pain or sorrow, give them your peace and mercy.
Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence.
Where there is need, fulfill their needs.
Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings.
In Jesus' name,
Mason Barge 1/14/2017, origin unk
For the Church
O gracious Father, I humbly pray to you for your holy church, that you would be pleased to fill it with all truth. Where hypocrisy exists, help those who suffer it to see their fault and correct it. Where disputes exist, let them be resolved in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it.
Where it is right, help us to establish and nurture it through your mighty power; where it is in want, provide for it; and where it is divided, reunite it. All this I pray for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever lives to intercede for our very souls, Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.
Most High, Glorious God, enlighten the darkness of my mind. Give me a right faith, a firm hope and a perfect charity, so that I may always and in all things act according to Your Holy Will.
~ (St.) Francis of Assisi (1214)
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What verse tells us to be glad in our weakness, and why?
All day long
I've stumbled from
Worry to worry
When I could have soared
From prayer to prayer.
Forgive me, Lord.
~ Ruth Harms Calkin
Luke 9:57-62 (ESV)
s they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”
Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus is on the road, headed for Jerusalem and death. The first comment probably was occasioned by the preceding verses, in which we are told that he attempted to stop in a Samaritan village but was told to keep moving. Jesus literally has nowhere to sleep for the night; so he lets his followers know that following him means not having a home. But he also lets us know, by implication, how difficult it might be for us to follow him. In fact, in one sense, he is leaving his earthly home altogether, and the disciples will not be able to follow him (at least not immediately).
The second and third paragraphs are easier to interpret. Two people tell Jesus that they will follow him, as soon as they get done with some other things. We face the problem every day in our own lives. We want to do something of ultimate importance, but there is something else that we think requires our immediate attention. We postpone what is important for something immediate.
In secular life, we will go on a diet or start exercising next week, after the party. We will spend some time with our children when we have finished doing the cleaning or yardwork or whatever. We will go visit a sick relative but not today because of . . . fill in the reason.
More to our point, however, we will begin to pay some attention to Christ and the salvation of our immortal souls, but there is something else we have to do first. We are too busy to pray, too strapped to help the poor, too stressed out to reflect on the Holy Spirit.
We cannot let this happen. We must do what is most important, even if we sometimes have to set aside what seems to be immediate. We must think about what we really want to accomplish and do that, not letting ourselves get sidelined by a thousand little chores or pleasures that will eat up our entire day, our entire week, our entire life.
Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins (detail) Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow, ca. 1840. This wise virgin shows how beautiful German Romanticism could be, when the artist showed restraint and subtlety. As in today’s Scripture, the wise virgins set aside time in their busy day to prepare for the bridegroom’s coming. (Matt. 25:1-13)