December 30, 2014
Mike Cherney

Department of Physics

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The Sixth Day in the Octave of Christmas
Lectionary: 203

1 John 2:12-17
Psalm 96:7-8a, 8b-9, 10
Luke 2:36-40

Celebrating Christmas

Daily Christmas Prayer

Today’s readings focus on God’s presence. The first reading reminds of God’s saving grace and warns how the world may take our attention away from Him. The psalm passage gives glory to God. The Gospel shows an early recognition of God on Earth in the person of Jesus.

I see how much my life is driven by deadlines. As the year comes to a close, I realize how much effort I have made to see that all the disbursements that are tax deductible for 2014 have been made. It is easier to plan for financial deadlines. I look at how much time I spend each week seeing that accounts (both at work and at home) are the way that they should be. I realized that when time runs short it is prayer, sleep and exercise that lose attention, but it is rarely financial responsibility that suffers. Although I think the distractions of the world to which the First Epistle of John refers primarily involve personal gratification, these acts that I justify as being responsible may very well not be the actions that lead me closer to God.

These actions that promote personal security just may be the pretentious acts that are called into question in the Epistle. It is easier to cut corners on the things that do not have deadlines (as well as things that have deadlines of which we are not aware). Physical and spiritual well being too often fall into these categories. In my case, they suffer because I tend to take on more than I really should. How much of my saying “yes” to requests and retaining old responsibilities is being truly responsible and conscientious and how much is me trying to create the world where I am in control. I find myself questioning if these efforts to manage an overabundance of activities really may be an attempt to avoid being reliant on God and on others.

My prayer today focuses on giving God recognition. These are the days leading up to the Feast of the Epiphany. In today’s Gospel it is Anna, a holy woman focused on God, who has the epiphany.

Lord, open our senses to your presence.
As we fill our lives with responsibilities it often easier to manage than to trust.
Let us be willing to accept the roles that bring us closer to you. Give us the strength to live these roles with the Word of God in our hearts.

Also give us the grace that allows us to say “no” when saying “no” will bring us closer to you.
Lead us in a way that encourages us to take the time that is required to come to our personal Epiphanies.

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