14 April 2024

Daily prayer in Easter 2024:
15, 14 April 2024

‘Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself’ (Luke 24: 39) … ‘Christ the Beggar’, a sculpture by Timothy Schmalz on the steps of Santo Spirito Hospital near the Vatican (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Easter is a 50-day season that continues until the Day of Pentecost, and today (14 April 2024) is the Third Sunday of Easter (Easter III). Throughout this Season of Easter, my morning reflections each day include the daily Gospel reading, the prayer in the USPG prayer diary, and the prayers in the Collects and Post-Communion Prayer of the day.

Later this morning, I am reading and leading the intercessions at the Parish Eucharist in Saint Mary and Saint Giles Church, Stony Stratford. But, before this day begins, before a new week begins, I am taking some quiet time this morning to give thanks, for reflection, prayer and reading in these ways:

1, today’s Gospel reading;

2, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary;

3, the Collects and Post-Communion prayer of the day.

‘When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet’ (Luke 24: 40) … ‘I was ill and you visited me’, a sculpture by Timothy Schmalz at Santo Spirito Hospital near the Vatican (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Luke 24: 36b-48 (NRSVA):

36b Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.

44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.’

‘Everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled’ (Luke 24: 44) … scenes from the life of Moses in the west window in Norwich Cathedral (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

Today’s Prayers (Sunday 14 April 2024):

The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel), is ‘The effect of Climate Change in the Solomon Islands.’ This theme is introduced today by the Revd Kate Komepwaisiho, Trustee of the Melanesian Mission:

The effect of Climate Change has sadly affected many parts of the world, causing melting ice caps, higher temperatures, irregular rainfalls, rising sea levels, droughts and wildfires, damaged corals, stronger storms etc. Likewise, some of the climate-related hazards in the Solomon Islands include severe shoreline erosion and increased flooding frequency, higher temperatures, unpredictable weather patterns, increasing sea surface temperatures and sea level rise.

During my childhood back in the 1990s, I would hear stories from my parents, uncles and aunties on how they harvested root crops like taro, sweet potatoes, yam and vegetables on the island. Sadly in my lifetime, I haven’t seen any of that. Today, villagers would travel across to the mainland for food and to fetch water for drinking and cooking.

People on the island live a very simple life. The main means of transportation is dugout canoes. It’s the only way to travel to the mainland for gardening, school, church services, fetching water for drinking and cooking, visiting neighbouring villages and of course fishing.

The beauty of village life is the richness of community – looking out for each other and sharing with one another. However, there is also an increase in population yet a lack of land among our people. In my village, relatives really need to take extra care and urgent actions about their usage of resources on the mainland because climate change has indeed affected their environment and the way they live.

It is my prayer that we continue to use wisely the resources and the beautiful environment our heavenly Father has entrusted unto us, so that our children, grandchildren and future generations will continue to enjoy.

The USPG Prayer Diary today (14 April 2024) invites us to pray:

Knowing God,
may we trust in your wisdom,
and follow the path you have set us on.
Let us be faithful disciples,
spreading the Word.

The Collect:

Almighty Father,
who in your great mercy gladdened the disciples
with the sight of the risen Lord:
give us such knowledge of his presence with us,
that we may be strengthened and sustained by his risen life
and serve you continually in righteousness and truth;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion Prayer:

Living God,
your Son made himself known to his disciples
in the breaking of bread:
open the eyes of our faith,
that we may see him in all his redeeming work;
who is alive and reigns, now and for ever.

Additional Collect:

Risen Christ,
you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope:
strengthen us to proclaim your risen life
and fill us with your peace,
to the glory of God the Father.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued Tomorrow

‘Living God, your Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread’ (Post-Communion Prayer) … the Supper at Emmaus in a window in Saint Mary and Saint Giles Church, Stony Stratford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2024)

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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