Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Praying through Lent with
USPG (8): 4 March 2020

Inside a gas chamber in Auschwitz (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

I am in London today [4 March 2020] for a meeting of the Trustees of the Anglican mission agency, USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), at the offices of USPG in Trinity Street, Southwark.

During the day, my thoughts are also with my colleagues, clergy and readers from the Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe and the Diocese of Tuam, who are taking part today in the Annual Lenten Quiet Day in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Tuam, Co Galway. The Quiet Day is being led by Bishop John McDowell of Clogher and the theme this year is ‘Some thoughts on the role of the Church of Ireland in the modern world.’

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections. Because this year marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the end of the Holocaust, I am also illustrating my reflections with images on this theme.

USPG is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week (1-7 March), the USPG Prayer Diary is focussing on ‘Theological Education: a Key Pillar of Mission,’ with a particular focus on Bishop Gaul Theological College in Harare, which takes its name from Bishop Billy Gaul, an early SPG missionary from Ireland. The acting principal, Bishop Chad Gandiya, is a former Regional Desk Officer for Africa and the Indian Ocean at the USPG office in London.

Wednesday 4 March:

Let us pray that the faculty and staff at Bishop Gaul College are able to overcome the challenges the college currently faces, and for their sustainable future.

Readings: Jonah 3: 1-10; Psalm 51: 1-5, 17-18; Luke 11: 29-32.

The Collect:

Almighty God,
whose Son Jesus Christ fasted forty days in the wilderness,
and was tempted as we are, yet without sin:
Give us grace to discipline ourselves
in obedience to your Spirit;
and, as you know our weakness,
so may we know your power to save;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s reflection

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