Friday, March 06, 2009

Singular Focus

Invitation to Prayer:
When one prays in strange places and at strange times one can’t kneel, to be sure. I won’t say this doesn’t matter. The body ought to pray as well as the soul. Body and soul are both the better for it. Bless the body. Mine has led me into many scrapes, but I’ve led it into far more . . . The relevant point is that kneeling does matter, but other things matter more. A concentrated mind and a sitting body make for better prayer than a kneeling body and a mind half asleep (C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer, p. 17-18).

The Psalm (Psalm 95:1-7)
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the LORD is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.

The Scripture Reading (Luke 9:57-62)
As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."

For Reflection
These words of Jesus dismiss both our good intentions and other honorable obligations that claim us. Such things hinder the life of faith, or so it seems. Jesus is intent on being clear about what we can expect (no place to lay the head). He calls for a place of highest urgency and priority in our lives (even above family!). Interestingly, we never see the reaction of those to whom these words were spoken.

What would your response have been? What is it today?

Closing Prayer
Lord Jesus, let every part of this day, every aspect of my life, be a place where I follow you. At home, on the job, wherever this day leads, I will follow you with a singular focus. Grant me grace to do so, I pray. Amen.

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