Saturday, 2 January 2021

Praying at Christmas with USPG:
9, Saturday 2 January 2021

Let us pray ‘For peace in the whole world …’ (the Divine Liturgy of Saint Bail the Great) … the bell at the village church of Aghios Vassilios (Saint Basil) in Koutouloufári in 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. I am one of the contributors to the current USPG Diary, Pray with the World Church.

Before this day starts, I am taking a little time this morning for my own personal prayer, reflection and Scripture reading.

The theme of the USPG Prayer Diary this week (27 December 2020 to 2 January 2021) is ‘Introducing the International Year of Peace and Trust,’ which I introduced on Sunday, writing as a trustee of USPG and President of the Irish Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament.

Saturday 2 January 2021 (Saint Basil the Great):

Let us pray ‘For peace in the whole world, for the stability of the holy churches of God, and for the unity of all’ (the Divine Liturgy of Saint Bail the Great).

The Collect of the Day (Common Worship):

Lord God,
whose servants Basil and Gregory
proclaimed the mystery of your Word made flesh,
to build up your Church in wisdom and strength:
grant that we may rejoice in his presence among us,
and so be brought with them to know the power of your unending love;
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:

God of truth,
whose Wisdom set her table
and invited us to eat the bread and drink the wine of the kingdom:
help us to lay aside all foolishness
and to live and walk in the way of insight,
that we may come with Saint Basil and Saint Gregory to the eternal feast of heaven;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Matthew 5: 13-19 (NRSVA):

13 [Jesus said:] ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot. 14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’

Continued tomorrow

Yesterday’s morning reflection

Inside the tiny village church of Aghios Vassilios (Saint Basil) in Koutouloufári in Crete (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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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