18 October 2022

Praying for World Peace and with USPG:
Tuesday 18 October 2022

The Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers today on the theme of ‘A Prayer for the Earth’ … Arnaldo Pomodoro’s sculpture ‘Sphere Within Sphere’ at the Berkeley Library in Trinity College Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

The Church Calendar today celebrates Saint Luke the Evangelist today (18 October).

It is seven months today since I suffered a stroke (18 March 2022). Later today, I am planning to have lunch with a friend in Oxford. But, before today gets busy, I am taking some time this morning for reading, prayer and reflection.

This year, the Week of Prayer for World Peace is from 16 to 23 October. In my prayer diary from last Sunday until next Sunday, I am reflecting in these ways:

1, One of the readings for the morning;

2, A reflection from the programme for the Week of Prayer for World Peace (16 to 23 October);

3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’

Saint Luke the Evangelist and Physician … a stained-glass window in Saint Michael’s Church, Tipperary (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Saint Luke was a close companion of the Apostle Paul, and is mentioned by him three times in his Letters. Saint Paul describes him as ‘the beloved physician’ and, in his second Letter to Timothy, as his only companion in prison. He is believed to be the author of two books of the New Testament: Saint Luke’s Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles. Saint Luke’s narrative of the life of Christ has a pictorial quality and shows the sequential pattern from the nativity through to the death and resurrection. The developed sense of theology that comes over in Saint Paul’s writings is virtually unknown in Saint Luke’s writings. But, as a Gentile, Saint Luke makes clear that the good news of salvation is for all, regardless of gender, social position or nationality.

Luke 10: 1-9 (NRSVA):

10 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the labourers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4 Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the labourer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you”.’

The Week of Prayer for World Peace takes place this year from Sunday 16 October 2022 to Sunday 23 October 2022

Week of Prayer for World Peace 2022, Day 3:

The week of Prayer for World Peace takes place from the second to third Sunday in October each year, which this year is from Sunday last (Sunday 16 October 2022) to next Sunday (23 October 2022).

The Week of Prayer for World Peace is supported by a wide range of organisations, many of which I have engaged with over the years, including the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship, Christian CND, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, Pax Christi, and Quaker Peace and Social Witness.

Day 3: A Prayer for Our Earth:

We pray for the earth and all her goodness to flourish and be nurtured by humankind.

‘I visualise the earth with my inner eye, slowly revolving; I visualise the oceans, the mountains, the forests and all living beings. Whilst holding my vison of the earth in front of me, I open my angel wings of compassion and care to embrace the earth to heal the pain with love and mercy.’ – Brahma Kumaris Environment Initiative

‘Our Gaia, whose art is Nature –
abode of our life,
Your time has come, your battle won
for people’s planet – consciousness.
Teach us each day how to be and live
through observing Nature’s models,
Those models that bring us into harmony
and not into conflict with Life’s source.
Home to humanity,
in sacred diversity.
Deities in unity, our dream.’ – from The Earth’s Prayer (to intonations of the Lord’s Prayer) by Anne Palmer, Isle of Lewis, UK

‘Cease the winds from the west
‘Cease the winds from the south
‘Let the breeze blow over the land
‘Let the breeze blow over the ocean
‘Let the red-tipped dawn come with a sharpened air.
‘A touch of frost, a promise of a glorious day.’ – Traditional Maori Blessing

‘I pray for the good of the life of all the living creatures which Spirit of Wisdom has created.’ – Zoroastrian Gathas

Sunset on the River Deel and the Shannon Estuary at Askeaton, Co Limerick … the Week of Prayer for World Peace invites prayers today on the theme of ‘A Prayer for the Earth’ (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Today’s Prayer (Tuesday 18 October 2022, Saint Luke):

The Collect:

Almighty God,
you called Luke the physician,
whose praise is in the gospel,
to be an evangelist and physician of the soul:
by the grace of the Spirit
and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel,
give your Church the same love and power to heal;
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.

The Post Communion Prayer:

Almighty God,
who on the day of Pentecost
sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles
with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame,
filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel:
by the power of the same Spirit
strengthen us to witness to your truth
and to draw everyone to the fire of your love;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The theme in the USPG Prayer Diary this week is ‘World Food Day.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.

The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:

Let us give thanks for the life and works of Luke the Evangelist. May we be inspired by his Christian witness.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

‘I visualise the earth with my inner eye, slowly revolving; I visualise the oceans, the mountains, the forests and all living beings’ (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

‘Study for the Calf of Saint Luke’ by Graham Sutherland in the ‘Consequence of War’ exhibition in Lichfield Cathedral in 2018 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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