Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Praying in Advent with USPG:
4, Wednesday 2 December 2020

And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full (Matthew 15: 37) … the miracle of the loaves and fishes in a fresco in Analipsi Church in Georgioupoli, Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Throughout Advent and Christmas this year, I am using the Prayer Diary of the Anglican Mission Agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) for my morning reflections each day, and the Advent and Christmas Devotional Calendar produced at Lichfield Cathedral for my prayers and reflections each evening.

I expect to spend much of today as a clerical member for the Diocese of Limerick at the General Synod of the Ireland, which is taking place vrtually on Zoom this week, and later in the day I have a meeting of a local school board.

But before the day begins, I am taking a short time this morning to read today’s Gospel reading and to pray using the USPG Prayer Diary.

I am one of the contributors to the current USPG Diary, Pray with the World Church, introducing the theme of peace and trust after Christmas.

The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary this week (29 November 2020 to 5 December 2020) is ‘There is the Lamb of God.’ This week’s theme was introduced by the Most Revd Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross and Caithness, and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church.

Before the day begins, I am pausing for a moment as I pray and reflect using the USPG Prayer Diary, the Collect of the Day, and this morning’s Gospel reading in the Lectionary of the Church of Ireland.

Wednesday 2 December 2020:

Let us give thanks for the recent news from the World Health Organisation declaring Africa polio-free.

The Advent Collect:

Almighty God,
Give us grace to cast away the works of darkness
and to put on the armour of light
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came to us in great humility;
that on the last day
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Matthew 15: 29-37 (NRSVA):.

29 After Jesus had left that place, he passed along the Sea of Galilee, and he went up the mountain, where he sat down. 30 Great crowds came to him, bringing with them the lame, the maimed, the blind, the mute, and many others. They put them at his feet, and he cured them, 31 so that the crowd was amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the maimed whole, the lame walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

32 Then Jesus called his disciples to him and said, ‘I have compassion for the crowd, because they have been with me now for three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.’ 33 The disciples said to him, ‘Where are we to get enough bread in the desert to feed so great a crowd?’ 34 Jesus asked them, ‘How many loaves have you?’ They said, ‘Seven, and a few small fish.’ 35 Then ordering the crowd to sit down on the ground, 36 he took the seven loaves and the fish; and after giving thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. 37 And all of them ate and were filled; and they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full.

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s morning reflection

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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