Monday 1st Lent


A Pilgrim's Daily Prayer

Called through the Word to the everlasting journey in the Spirit

from nothingness to union with the One who is the Beginning and the End

 Guido Reni: Moses
Galleria Borghese, Rome, 1600-10


Monday of the First Week of Lent:                         You Are Spirit and Life

Readings for Mass
First Reading: Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 15
Gospel: Matthew 25:31-46



Rx. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life (NRSV,John 6:63b).
The law of the Lord is perfect,

Reviving the soul;
The decrees of the Lord are sure,
Making wise the simple
(NRSV, Ps 19:7).

 

Let us pray.

Father, it was as you led us out of Egypt into freedom that we realized for the first time who you are, that you are God, that we are your people, that you love us and expect us to love one another. In the encounter that we remember as a mountain storm in the Sinai desert all of this and more became clear to us. We came away from the holy mountain convince that you were leading us to a destiny. We were sure that it was the land that you promised. It was a promise, we would remember, that you had long before made to Abraham as you called him out of his ancestral home in Mesopotamia. We also came away from Sinai convinced that we are a covenanted people bound to you by the Law. Ever since, we have been struggling to read your holy will for us given, we believed, once and for all on the holy mountain. With each succeeding generation, Lord, we have refined our understanding of the Law, enshrining it in precepts attributed to you.

In the resurrection of Jesus, your Anointed One, your Word made flesh, a new understanding has emerged. Yes, we are truly a covenanted people but we are not bound to you by the Law, as we once thought, as best we could, but by your Holy Spirit, given to us even from the beginning through your Word and in whom we live. Your Spirit is given to all human beings as he is accepted in the womb, one life shared by you, Father, with everyone.

Your Word, who has taken upon himself a human body to share our life with us, is always present to us. Nothing, not even the worst of sins, can cause him to abandon us. He remains ever present to each of us, and to all your people, challenging us in each moment to growth in the life of your Holy Spirit.

With that growth in your divine life, Father, always comes greater understanding of the one Word that you speak to us, not just from the holy mountain, but at every moment in the Spirit in the depth of our being. We must always be ready to let go not only of who we are that we may increase in you but we must also be ready to grow in our understanding of how you want us to live. The love that you would have us make our own, Father, has never been written down in final form on tablets of stone. In every generation, in every moment of every generation, we must be ready to find new and better ways of living out your love with and among one another.

Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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