Help us to pass from our old life of sin 

“Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall declare your praise.”

 
O God, by whose wondrous grace
we are enriched with every blessing,
grant us so to pass from former ways to newness of life,
that we may be made ready for the glory of the heavenly Kingdom.

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. 

Today's Reading

Daily Meditation: 

Help us to pass from our old life of sin 
to our new life of grace. 
This week we let the powerful light of God's love
 
shine into the deepest, darkest corners of our soul,
 
revealing the most un-loving parts of our hearts,
 
and we ask for forgiveness and healing.
Perhaps we might make the Stations of the Cross
 
to stir our hearts more deeply with the sense of his love for us.


Though I walk in the valley of darkness, 
I fear no evil, 
for you are with me. 

Psalm 23

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: 

God of love, 
I know that you are the source of all 
that is good and graced in my life. 
Help me to move from the life of sin 
to which I so often cling, 
into the new life of grace you offer me. 
You know what I need to prepare for your kingdom. 
Bless me with those gifts.

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

Daily Reflection
Of Creighton University's Online Ministries

Everyone has their favorite, and least favorite, scripture passages. Some passages affirm us in the way we feel about our relationship with God, about the way we live out our beliefs. Others make us uncomfortable, challenging the way we live, revealing a facet of God we don’t understand, or telling of shameful behavior by our ancestors in faith.

Scripture passages about the law tend to fall into the “uncomfortable” category for some.

At the Easter Vigil in a couple of weeks, Psalm 19 will follow the sixth reading from the prophet Baruch. When I asked one of my cantors to lead it, the response I got was, “You’re going to make me sing about the law?! And the fear of the Lord?! I don’t like all those limits. I’m all about the Spirit.” My immediate response was, “But it’s God’s law! It’s better than ours!” But, there was no convincing this cantor that the Spirit and God’s law can and do go together, because they are both of God.  The readings today offer similar challenges around that.

In the first reading, people think of the law in very different ways. Susanna and Daniel hold that God’s law is most important, even when following it may lead them to suffering under (abuses of) human law. The two elders abuse human law as a tool to support their own power, and do not hold themselves accountable to God’s law. This is all the more disturbing because they have been trusted to judge everyone else. In the end, innocence and fairness win out and the malicious elders suffer.

This is not always, or even usually, the ending this kind of story gets. I couldn’t help thinking, while reading Susanna’s story, of survivors of sexual harassment, violence, and trafficking; of my own Church’s part in allowing leaders, trusted to care for the powerless, to abuse their positions of power, an issue recently returned to the forefront of public thought by Best Picture winner “Spotlight.” Susanna’s story certainly brings up deep pain for many who hear it today. Had I encountered law only in the context of those manipulating it for their own ends, or in the prolonging of suffering, I wouldn’t like to think of that word as belonging to God, either.

But God’s law is different. God’s law is that of the Good Shepherd, who walks with us, brings us to fresh streams and green pastures, and protects us from those who wish to harm us. God’s law illuminates – “I am the light of the world.” God’s law is truth – Jesus knows this so well that the idea of a second testimony to his identity seems almost laughably unnecessary. Jesus says in the Gospel that he, the carrier of the law of the new covenant, does not judge. He simply sees, and loves. This Jubilee Year of Mercy is all about God’s law: merciful love.

Love is his name, love is his law:
hear his command, all who are his.
'Love one another, as I loved you.'
Love, only love, is his law.

by Molly Mattingly
Creighton University's Campus Ministry
click here for photo and information about the writer

Daily Meditation by(c) 2013 Don Schwager
Bible Story illustrations by publishing.com 

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