Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 3rd Week of Easter: Year 1
Morning, Psalm 25; Evening, Psalms 9 and 15:
Daniel 4:19 to 27; 1st John 3:19 to 4:6; Luke 4:14 to 30
“There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.’ When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage.” (Luke 4:27 and 28)
Our Lord Jesus recalls how those who were supposed to believe doubted and those who were thought to be excluded, but believed, were saved. Upon hearing this truth, they were filled with rage.”
Often when we hear the painful truth about ourselves, we are filled with rage. Perhaps it is because we are in denial or fearful that this prophet Jesus, will expose us for who we really are and who he really is. In any case, our Lord Jesus is who he is. We, on the other hand, can change.
The people of his hometown in Nazareth in Galilee decided to get rid of him. Unfortunately, leaving Jesus out of their lives is the path some want-to-be Christians today choose to take when the Christian life becomes too difficult.
If we don’t like who we are, we should change. Change is possible through our Lord Jesus. It happens a little bit at a time. It happens through Christian writings, through Church attendance, and through social engagements with persons who are also struggling to live the tough Christian life.
In our Luke reading for today, they wanted to destroy our Lord Jesus. “But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way,” (Luke 4:30). Just as Jesus will leave us be if we so choose, he will gladly re-enter our lives should we invite him.
I believe wanting to be a better people is the first step. After desire, comes determination. And even before the readings, the Church, and the company we keep, comes our prayers. Our Episcopal Collect for Purity is what I have found to fit best. We pray, “Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.” (BCP 355)
Let us live to love, more than we just love to live, listening to what the Spirit is saying to, and through, the saints of God, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John