Friday, 17 March 2017

Praying in Lent 2017 with USPG,
(20) Friday 17 March 2017

‘May all know the blessings of God’s provision’ … a statue of Saint Patrick on the façade of Saint Patrick’s Hall on William Street, Listowel, Co Kerry (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2017)

Patrick Comerford

Today is Saint Patrick’s Day [17 March 2017], and I am marking the national saint’s day by presiding and preaching at the Eucharist in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick, this morning (11 a.m.). Later in the day I hope to attend the Saint Patrick’s Day parade in either Rathkeale or Askeaton.

The Lectionary readings for the Eucharist today are: Tobit 1313: 1b-7 or Deuteronomy 32: 1-9; Psalm 145: 1-13; II Corinthians 4: 1-12; John 4: 31-38.

In Ireland, Saint Patrick’s Day traditionally marks a welcome break in mid-Lent from the discipline and self-denial that are part of Lenten practices for many.

The Lent 2017 edition of the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) follows the theme of the USPG Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life.’

I am using this Prayer Diary for my prayers and reflections each morning throughout Lent. Why not join me in these prayers and reflections, for just a few moments each morning?

In the articles and prayers in the prayer diary, USPG invites us to investigate what it means to be a disciple of Christ. The Lent study course, ‘Living an Authentic Life’ (available online or to order at www.uspg.org.uk/lent), explores the idea that discipleship and authenticity are connected.

This week, from Sunday (12 March) until tomorrow (18 March), the USPG Lent Prayer Diary follows the topic ‘How shall we live.’ The topic was introduced on Sunday in an article in the Prayer Diary by Maropeng Moholoa, of the Anglican Church in Southern Africa, who oversees a USPG-supported community development programme in Lesotho.

Friday 17 March 2017:

Give thanks for the church’s engagement with vulnerable and marginalised communities. May all know the blessings of God’s provision.

Collect of the Day:

Almighty God,
in your providence you chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people,
to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error
to the true light and knowledge of your Word:
Grant that walking in that light
we may come at last to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Post-Communion Prayer:

Hear us, most merciful God,
for that part of the Church
which through your servant Patrick you planted in our land;
that it may hold fast the faith entrusted to the saints
and in the end bear much fruit to eternal life:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection and prayer

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