Praying at Home Today: Thursday 9 July 2020
Welcome to PrayingAtHome.com, where you can find some worship resources for praying at home today or wherever you are.
We hope these readings, prayers, music and the short reflection will help you stay in touch with the Church and to sustain you on your journey through life.
Please note that with effect from 29 June 2020, we have reverted to the Track 1 “semi-continuous” Old Testament readings (this also affects the psalm or equivalent response); the New Testament and Gospel readings remain unchanged.
Opening to the Word
You can spend a few moments in silence,
focussing on your breathing
to become more mindful of the present moment
and to open yourself more fully
to God’s presence within you.
In the name of the living God,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
What the law requires is written on their hearts,
to which their own conscience also bears witness;
and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them.
Opus legis scriptum in cordibus suis,
testimonium reddente illis conscientia ipsorum,
et inter se invicem cogitationibus accusantibus, aut etiam defendentibus
l’œuvre de la loi est écrite dans leur cœur,
car leur conscience en rend témoignage
et leurs pensées les accusent ou les défendent tour à tour.
The Liturgy of the Word *
Here are today’s Bible readings.
You can read just one, or all of them if you have time.
Paul writing to the Christians in Rome
In the verse that follows our short reading today, we read an interesting choice of word by the Apostle Paul:
on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.
(bold text mine)
The Latin version reads the same: “secundum Evangelium meum”. I’m no biblical scholar but even I know that the Gospel isn’t Paul’s to claim.
However, the French version reads what I understand to be the case: “conformément à l’Evangile que je prêche”, “in accordance with the Gospel that I preach”.
It’s true that Paul uses his own words, influenced by a lifetime’s reflection on what he believes, to put across to the Christians in Rome (and elsewhere) the apostolic κήρυγμα, the preaching of the apostles, that Christ had been crucified and had risen from the dead and that this had been foretold in the scriptures.
Fr Alexander Jones tells us that
What [Paul] calls ‘his’ Good News (Romans 2:16; 16:25) was identical with the faith commonly held (Galatians 1:6-9; 2:2; Colossians 1:5-7) but emphasised the conversion of pagans (Galatians 1:16; 2:7-9) in line with the missionary policy initiated at Antioch.
Jerusalem Bible, NT p.253
So this passage that we’re thinking about today is directed both to Jews and Gentiles.
Paul is saying that God will repay each one as their deeds deserve (Romans 2:6).
There’s no room in Paul’s writing for hypocrisy: we will be judged on the Day of the Lord, when the whole human race will be judged in God’s court.
A tale from Narnia
In The Last Battle, the final volume in The Chronicles of Narnia, CS Lewis describes the encounter with Aslan of a Calormene soldier named Emeth (who had faithfully served his god, Tash, in accordance with his country’s customs). Aslan tells him:
Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him.
And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.
Dost thou understand, Child?
[Emmet] said, Lord, thou knowest how much I understand.
But [he] said also (for the truth constrained [him]), Yet I have been seeking Tash all my days.
Beloved, said the Glorious One, unless thy desire had been for me thou wouldst not have sought so long and so truly.
For all find what they truly seek.
The Last Battle (London, 1996) p.173
This story may help us to understand Paul’s assertion that we will all be judged by what is in our hearts, and how we respond in action to the promptings of our consciences.
We pray for those for whom life’s decisions are not simple,
for those who have to weight up greater or lesser evils,
for all of us who are constrained by culture or upbringing.
We pray for political leaders, locally, nationally and across the world,
that they may obey their conscienes and work for the good of humanity.
For those oppressed by regimes that unjustly curtail their freedom,
for those at threat from war and famine.
We pray for those ill in hospital, or at home,
and for those who care for them.
We pray for those who are affected most by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic,
especially our hospital staff and care workers.
For those who work in hospitality, bars and restaurants, exposed to the risk of infection.
For us all.
Music for reflection *
The Lord’s Prayer
We can say the Lord’s Prayer in any language or version we choose.
Here it is, in English, Latin and French.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
as we forgive those
who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours.
Now and for ever. Amen.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cælo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo.
Quia tuum est regnum,
et potestas, et gloria, in saecula.
Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
que ton nom soit sanctifié.
Que ton règne vienne.
Que ta volonté soit faite sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offences
comme nous pardonnons aussi
à ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
mais délivre-nous du mal.
Car c’est à toi qu’appartiennent le règne,
la puissance et la gloire
pour les siècles des siècles. Amen.
your son Jesus commanded us to love one another;
give us the grace, we pray,
to recognise in our neighbour your image and likeness.
Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
Thank you for joining us in praying at home.
Oremus pro invicem.
There are several books by Brother Roger of the Taizé Community from many booksellers (Amazon link)
In these strange times, we are called to trust
Other worship resources
Praying at Home Today: Acknowledgements
In that lectionary, the readings are in the following order: Old Testament reading, Psalm, New Testament reading; we have changed the order to the more usual OT, Psalm and NT.
English Bible texts are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Latin Bible texts are from Biblia Sacra Vulgata, and are in the Public Domain.
French Bible texts are from Version Segond 21, copyright © 2007 Société Biblique de Genève by Société Biblique de Genève.
Images, unless otherwise stated, are from lockdown in Scotland, by Alistair Warwick.
Music engraved by The Art of Music.
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