May 25th, 2014 by Christopher Caudle
Scriptures for today.
Psalm 145 · Exodus 13.17-14.4 · 2 Corinthians 4.16-5.10 · Psalm 104 · Mark 12.1, 18-27
Prayer for today.
Lord of all life and power, who through the mighty resurrection of your Son overcame the old order of sin and death to make all things new in him: grant that we, being dead to sin and alive to you in Jesus Christ, may reign with him in glory; to whom with you and the Holy Spirit be praise and honour, glory and might, now and in all eternity.
Question for today.
St Cyril of Jerusalem (313 – 386) begins his Catechetical Lectures with a picture of growing blessing, and includes an invitation to those who have come to church with unfocused hearts. This message for those exploring and following the Christian faith reads as fresh as the day’s newspaper, and reminds us that many of us arrive in the church with far lower motives that God in Christ has in mind for us. Go ahead, invite your neighbors and friends. The good news of the gospel will bear fruit. How might we prepare our hearts to worship Christ tomorrow? Who might God be preparing to join us?
1Already there is an odour of blessedness upon you, O you who are soon to be enlightened : already you are gathering the spiritual flowers, to weave heavenly crowns: already the fragrance of the Holy Spirit has breathed upon you: already you have gathered round the vestibule of the King's palace ; may you be led in also by the King! For blossoms now have appeared upon the trees ; may the fruit also be found perfect! Thus far there has been an inscription of your names , and a call to service, and torches of the bridal train, and a longing for heavenly citizenship, and a good purpose, and hope attendant thereon. For he lies not who said, that to them that love God all things work together for good. God is lavish in beneficence, yet He waits for each man's genuine will: therefore the Apostle added and said, to them that are called according to a purpose. The honesty of purpose makes you called: for if your body be here but not your mind, it profits you nothing….
5. Possibly too you have come on another pretext. It is possible that a man is wishing to pay court to a woman, and came hither on that account. The remark applies in like manner to women also in their turn. A slave also perhaps wishes to please his master, and a friend his friend. I accept this bait for the hook, and welcome you, though you came with an evil purpose, yet as one to be saved by a good hope. Perhaps you knew not whither you were coming, nor in what kind of net you are taken. You have come within the Church's nets: be taken alive, flee not: for Jesus is angling for you, not in order to kill, but by killing to make alive: for you must die and rise again. For you have heard the Apostle say, Dead indeed unto sin, but living unto righteousness . Die to your sins, and live to righteousness, live from this very day.
You may read the entire first lecture here. http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/310100.htm