Wednesday, August 01, 2007

01/08/07 Wednesday in the week of the Ninth Sunday after Pentecost


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Blessed are those for whom Easter is...
not a hunt, but a find;
not a greeting, but a proclamation;
not outward fashions, but inward grace;
not a day, but an eternity.


O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Merciful God, whose servant Joseph of Arimathaea with reverence and godly fear prepared the body of our Lord and Savior for burial, and laid it in his own tomb: Grant to us, your faithful people, grace and courage to love and serve Jesus with sincere devotion all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Today's Scripture

AM Psalm 72; PM Psalm 119:73-96
2 Samuel 3:22-39; Acts 16:16-24; Mark 6:47-56

From Forward Day by Day:

Psalm 119:73-96. Your hands have made me and fashioned me; give me understanding, that I may learn your commandments.

In the story of Pinocchio, Geppetto, a kind old toymaker, longs for a real boy of his own. His desire is granted. The breath of life, along with free will and the ability to learn right from wrong, is given to Pinocchio, one of his marionettes.

Knowing that his new son is just a little wooden- head who has much to learn, Geppetto sends him to school. On the way, Pinocchio is met by a pair of characters who do their best to exploit him and profit from his naiveté and ignorance. Free from his strings and Geppetto's presence, he willfully follows these characters only to find himself again held captive and in the process of becoming a jackass, with long ears and a tail, not a real boy.
Upon learning that his grief-stricken father has been swallowed by the whale Monstro, he determines to find and rescue him. After an exhausting battle, both father and son are sneezed ashore. Pinocchio is, at last, made a real boy, who understands the truth that his choices have the power to bless or curse
not only himself but also those who love him and
are loved by him.

Today we remember:

Joseph of Arimathaea
Psalm 16:5-11 or 112:1-9
Proverbs 4:10-18; Luke 23:50-56

Today in the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Diocese of Rio Grande (United States)

Speaking to the Soul:

Joseph of Arimathea

Daily Reading for August 1 • Joseph of Arimathea

On the day of the Preparation, about the tenth hour, you shut me in, and I remained there the whole Sabbath in full. And when midnight came, as I was standing and praying, the house where you shut me in was hung up by the four corners, and there was a flashing of light in mine eyes. And I fell to the ground trembling. Then some one lifted me up from the place where I had fallen, and poured over me an abundance of water from the head even to the feet, and put round my nostrils the odor of a wonderful ointment, and rubbed my face with the water itself, as if washing me, and kissed me, and said to me, Joseph, fear not; but open thine eyes, and see who it is that speaks to thee. And looking, I saw Jesus; and being terrified, I thought it was a phantom. And with prayer and the commandments I spoke to him, and he spoke with me. And I said to him: Art thou Rabbi Elias? And he said to me: I am not Elias. And I said: Who art thou, my Lord? And he said to me: I am Jesus, whose body thou didst beg from Pilate, and wrap in clean linen; and thou didst lay a napkin on my face, and didst lay me in thy new tomb, and roll a stone to the door of the tomb. Then I said to him that was speaking to me: Show me, Lord, where I laid thee. And he led me, and showed me the place where I laid him, and the linen which I had put on him, and the napkin which I had wrapped upon his face; and I knew that it was Jesus. And he took hold of me with his hand, and put me in the midst of my house though the gates were shut, and put me in my bed, and said to me: Peace to thee! And he kissed me, and said to me: For forty days go not out of thy house; for, lo, I go to my brethren into Galilee.

From the non-canonical Gospel of Nicodemus, translated by Alexander Walker, in The Lost Books of the Bible (Bell Publishing, 1979).
++++++++++ Reflections

It is very important for us to realise that God does not lead us all by the same road…
St Teresa of Jesus
Way, 17.2

Reading from the Desert Christians

Abba Theodore of Scetis said, 'A thought comes to me which troubles me and does not leave me free; but not being able to lead me to act, it simply stops me progressing in virtue; but a vigilant man would cut it off and get up to pray.'

Daily Meditation (Henri Nouwen)

All People Lifted Up with Jesus

The death and resurrection of Jesus are God's way to open for all people the door to eternal life. Jesus said: "When I am lifted up from the earth, I shall draw all people to myself" (John 12:32). Indeed, all people, from all times and places, are lifted up with Jesus on the cross and into the new life of the resurrection. Thus, Jesus' death is a death for all humanity, and Jesus' resurrection is a resurrection for all humanity.

Not one person from the past, present, or future is excluded from the great passage of Jesus from slavery to freedom, from the land of captivity to the promised land, from death to eternal life.

From the Principles of the Third Society of St. Francis:

Day One - The Object

Jesus said, "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there will my servant be also. Whoever serves me, the Father will honor." (John 12:24-26)

Upper Room Daily Reflection

Our Unique “Greatness”
August 1st, 2007
Wednesday’s Reflection

WE’VE ALL “GOT IT” in some way or another. Money, status, and social clout are only a few means to becoming “great ones.” Some individuals offer great people skills, others offer humor, still others offer insight, while yet others excel in patience and endurance. In the light of Jesus’ call for the “greatest” to be the “servants of all,” the question is how that greatness will be used and to what ends.

- Robert Corin Morris
Wrestling with Grace

From page 162 Wrestling with Grace: A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life by Robert Corin Morris. Copyright © 2003 by the author. Published by Upper Room Books. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.

Richard Rohr's Daily Reflection

"Francis Stands for Love Emptying Itself"

History eventually turns itself upside down. In the moment, the saint is never understood. So we had best be careful whom we name saint and devil. We had best listen because sometimes saints come in ways we are not prepared for. Francis wanted one thing above everything else: the poor Jesus. So he went to the caves, dressed in the ragged tunic and let the people call him foolish. Even in his age he saw the importance of being poor. He saw how the Church was being destroyed by its own riches. Above all else Francis stands for love, but love that empties itself, love that is so secure that it can be poor. It can let go of its reputation, securities, money. Francis in every age will be called the little poor man. He was free enough to be poor. He named his community the brothers of the lower class (friars minor). He changed sides intentionally: Today we call that taking a preferential option for the poor. We Americans stand for the upper class on this earth. Let us ask for ourselves and for our country the gift of poverty, the freedom to be poor. If we have not heard that, we have not heard Francis. All the rest is sentimentality birdbath Franciscanism.

from On Pilgrimage With Father Richard Rohr

From John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., Tradition Day by Day: Readings from Church Writers. Augustinian Press. Villanova, PA, 1994.

The law and the prophets will nourish you

Be careful that you too do not become an Egyptian in the grip of famine. Take care not to be so involved in worldly affairs, so bound by the chains of avarice or softened by sensual indulgence, that the food of wisdom, which is always offered in the churches of God, becomes distasteful to you. For if you close your ears to what is read or discussed in church, without doubt you will suffer hunger for the word of God. But if you are of the line of Abraham, and preserve the nobility of the Israelite race, the law and the prophets will always nourish you, and the apostles will also offer you sumptuous feasts. The gospels, too, will invite you to sit at table in the company of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of the Father to eat of the tree of life there, and to drink wine from the true vine, to drink the new wine with Christ in the kingdom of his Father. For it is impossible for the friends of the bridegroom to fast or suffer hunger for this food as long as the bridegroom is with them.

Origen of Alexandria

Daily Readings From "My Utmost for His Highest", Oswald Chambers


He comes where He commands us to leave.

"When Jesus had made an end of commanding his disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities." Matthew 11:1.

If when God said "Go," you stayed because you were so concerned about your people at home, you robbed them of the teaching and preaching of Jesus Christ Himself. When you obeyed and left all consequences to God, the Lord went into your city to teach; as long as you would not obey, you were in the way. Watch where you begin to debate and to put what you call duty in competition with your Lord's commands. "I know He told me to go, but then my duty was here;" that means you do not believe that Jesus means what He says.

He teaches where He instructs us not to.

"Master, . . . let us make three tabernacles."

Are we playing the spiritual amateur providence in other lives? Are we so noisy in our instruction of others that God cannot get anywhere near them? We have to keep our mouths shut and our spirits alert. God wants to instruct us in regard to His Son, He wants to turn our times of prayer into mounts of transfiguration, and we will not let Him. When we are certain of the way God is going to work, He will never work in that way any more.

He works where He sends us to wait.

"Tarry ye . . . until . . ." Wait on God and He will work, but don't wait in spiritual sulks because you cannot see an inch in front of you! Are we detached enough from our own spiritual hysterics to wait on God? To wait is not to sit with folded hands, but to learn to do what we are told.

These are phases of His ways we rarely recognize.

G. K. Chesterton Day by Day

A MAN must be orthodox upon most things, or he will never even have time to preach his own heresy.

'George Bernard Shaw.'

Today's reading from the Rule of St. Benedict

Chapter 50: On Sisters Who are Working Far From the Oratory or Are on a Journey

Those sisters who are working at a great distance
and cannot get to the oratory at the proper time --
the Abbess judging that such is the case --
shall perform the Work of God
in the place where they are working,
bending their knees in reverence before God.

Likewise those who have been sent on a journey
shall not let the appointed Hours pass by,
but shall say the Office by themselves as well as they can
and not neglect to render the task of their service.


The Sanskrit writes: Necessity changes a course but never a goal. Benedictine spirituality--flexible, sensible, realistic at all times--sets loud, clear goals but models a number of ways to achieve them. Perhaps there is no surer proof of Benedict's awareness that spirituality is neither a formula nor a straightjacket than this particular chapter. Benedict values nothing more than community prayer, the Opus Dei. In other chapters he organizes it minutely and schedules it for seven times a day. "Nothing," he writes "is to be preferred to the Work of God." And yet, when the ideal is confronted by the real, Benedict opts for the sanctification of the real rather than the idealization of the holy. If there is work to be done at a great distance from the chapel, the monastic is to see that it's done. Holiness is not an excuse to avoid responsibility. Spirituality is not an escape from life. Spirituality leavens life. Spirituality is what stabilizes us in the middle of confusion and gives us energy to go on doing what must be done even when the rest of life taxes and fatigues and separates us from our own resources.


Dynamis is a daily Bible meditation based upon the lectionary of the Holy Orthodox Church.

Please forgive the omission of today's reading. The word wrap was so off kilter as to make this impossible to read. IMO



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