Malankara World

Great Lent Today

Day 22 - Fourth Monday of the Great Lent

Opening Prayer:

May your unfailing compassion, O Lord,
cleanse and protect your Church,
and, since without you she cannot stand secure,
may she be always governed by your grace.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

The Readings
2 Kings 5:1-15; Psalm 42:2-3, 43:3- 4; Luke 4:24-30

In His Steps - A Lenten Series

Today: Tyre: Canaanite Woman - Crumbs for the Dogs

Daily Meditation:

We cannot be saved without you.

Today we are reminded of the terrible irony: a prophet is not well received at home.
Jesus was not accepted by those who saw him as all too human.
And, he was unable to act with power in their lives.

Is this Lenten season getting us out of our comfortable complacency,
and helping us see the prophetic one in our midst?
Is it helping us listen better, reach out with deeper longing,
find a greater intimacy with the only one who can save us?.

My soul is thirsting for the living God:
when shall I see God face to face?
Psalm 42

Today's Daily Reflection

by Tami Whitney, English Department, Creighton University

No prophet is accepted in his own native place. The wisdom of one's own parents seems to pale beside the stranger. The lives of the saints from long ago and far away seem more real somehow than the devotion of the next door neighbor. A miracle should be something exotic and magical, but thinking like that keeps us from seeing the miracles that happen around us every day and from accepting the wisdom of our own friends and family.

When my nephew, Todd, was a baby, he was sitting on the back steps laughing and fell over backward onto the patio. My dad's best friend Gary was sitting on the patio, reached out his hand, and caught the baby mere inches before his head hit the concrete. We were amazed. It was a miracle, but the elements were all very common. Gary was over at the house more often than not. He was sitting on the patio drinking iced tea like a hundred other times. He certainly didn't seem the type who could cause a miracle. Todd was just walking then and was always all over the back yard. What simple elements our good friend simply reaches out his hand, but the outcome was the miracle the baby surely would have died. Gary saved his life. It was a miracle.

Naaman traveled far to the exotic foreign prophet, but when he got there the prophet's instructions seemed too easy. Naaman wanted ritual and foreign prayers and pageantry. He was told to wash in the river. He nearly disregarded the wisdom. It seemed too ordinary. But his servants had the right idea. If he had been told to do something extraordinary, he'd have done it in a minute, but he was balking at the ordinary. And the ordinary act of washing in the river had a miraculous outcome he was cured of his leprosy. Like our friend Gary's ordinary act had a miraculous outcome.

People don't recognize the miracles in their own back yards. Naaman traveled far to visit this prophet and was healed. The folks in the prophet's own land missed out. They just saw him as the fellow down the street, nothing special. My family miracle happened in our own back yard, with our ordinary friends and family. The miracles that get the press are far off and fancy, but the world is full of miracles happening all around us every day. Every day we disregard wisdom from our friends and family, teachers and coworkers. The biggest miracles of all are sometimes the most common. What could be more miraculous than the birth of a baby? And with the current world population at 7,067,097,609, what could be more common? Daffodil leaves are up outside my office today (and with the weather this week, if they survive it will be a miracle). Spring flowers are the most common thing in the world, and the most miraculous.

Preface for Meditation:
by Prince Mathew

Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them return to the Lord, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55: 6-11

Prophet Isaiah reminds us of God's grace in the day to day, the sun that shines, the rain that falls, the plants that grow. In just the same way that God's gracious gift of rain brings growth and life, so God's gracious gift of his word always achieves its purpose. His gift makes it possible for us to respond to the call of verse 6 with great confidence. We seek God knowing that he may be found; we call on him knowing that he is near. The Lord does not hide from us; he has spoken his word so that he may be found. And because God longs for us to know him he has sent the Living Word, our Lord Jesus, in whom Isaiah's prophecy is ultimately fulfilled. During this Lent, may our hearts be filled with the sense of joy and expectancy that Isaiah's words excite in us!

Bible Reading Passages:
Fourth Monday of Great Lent

Fifty-Day Gospel Planner
(Read all Gospels during the Great Lent)

Morning

Gospel Readings:

Mark 12:35-44 KJV)

And Jesus answered and said, while he taught in the temple, How say the scribes that Christ is the son of David?

For David himself said by the Holy Ghost, The LORD said to my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.

David therefore himself calleth him Lord; and whence is he then his son? And the common people heard him gladly.

And he said unto them in his doctrine, Beware of the scribes, which love to go in long clothing, and love salutations in the marketplaces,

And the chief seats in the synagogues, and the uppermost rooms at feasts:

Which devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers: these shall receive greater damnation.

And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much.

And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.

And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury:

For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.

Bible Verse of the Day:

"They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything - all she had to live on." - St. Mark 12:44

Intercessions:

Praise to Jesus, our Savior; by his death he has opened for us the way of salvation.
Let us ask him:
Lord, guide your people to walk in your ways.

God of mercy, you gave us new life through baptism,
- make us grow day by day in your likeness.
May our generosity today bring joy to those in need,
- in helping them may we find you.
Help us to do what is good, right and true in your sight,
- and to seek you always with undivided hearts.
Forgive our sins against the unity of your family,
- make us one in heart and spirit.

Closing Prayer:

Merciful God,
Free your Church from the sins of this world
and protect us from evil we see
and the evil we prefer to ignore.
We need your guidance, Lord
for we cannot do this alone.
Only with your help can we be saved.
Thank you for your desire to save us and love us.

May the Lord bless us,
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.
Amen.

Source: Portions from: Creighton University Praying Lent

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