Thursday, June 16, 2005

Friday, June 17

The Divine Hours: Prayers for Summertime (pp. 93-94)

To read today's office, click here.

Because our God sits in judgment it is our responsibility, as the Reading for this morning tells us, to listen to the words of Jesus and act on those words. The gospel, as it is becoming clear in our generation as never before, is to be performed and it is the performance of the gospel that speaks most potently to many. Many today are asking the Church not only to proclaim its gospel but also perform that same gospel. They are asking this more of the Church and not just individual followers of Jesus.

The recent study of St Francis by Lawrence S. Cunningham has the subtitle of Performing the gospel life. St Francis, like many in our generation, was tired of hearing Church leaders squabble about land and about theology and about power and said to himself: "I will live as Jesus lived." And his testimony is known throughout the entire world -- and it is a witness in a brown gown to the impact of a person who performed the gospel.

God sits in judgment, and he calls us to perform the gospel daily -- and that is why we begin our day with our offices and in them we greet our Lord with this: "I cry to you for help; in the morning my prayer comes before you."

That is why we need to pray, with the Church, the Prayer appointed for the Week: Keep, O Lord, your household the Church in your steadfast faith and love, that through your grace each of us may proclaim your truth with boldness, and minister your justice with compassion ... for the sake of our Savior Jsus Christ." It is the Church that performs the gospel to the world, and it is ours to play a small role -- a role we can be grateful to have.