Prayer – Nov 18 – Seeking liminal spaces – Luke 19:45-48

⇒Prayer

Friday November 18 – Luke 19:45-48
Opening
Let us place ourselves in the presence of God.
Close your eyes.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Gospel
Luke 19:45-48

Jesus entered the temple area and proceeded to drive out
those who were selling things, saying to them,
“It is written, My house shall be a house of prayer,
but you have made it a den of thieves.”
And every day he was teaching in the temple area.
The chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the people, meanwhile,
were seeking to put him to death,
but they could find no way to accomplish their purpose
because all the people were hanging on his words.

Reflection
At the beginning of Luke’s Gospel in Chapter 2 we see Jesus at the temple several times. His presentation (verse 22), with the prophet Simeon (verse 25), with the prophet Anna (verse 36) and finally, finding him in the temple at age 12 (verse 41). Jesus is a good religious Jew as we he is performing religious practise in the temple. The temple is the foundation of Jesus’ religion and faith. Yet eventually the temple would be destroyed in 70 AD by the Romans, and so would Jesus himself in 30 AD.

Jesus must move beyond the religion he was born into. Jesus symbolically cleanses the temple, as it has become a barrier to God. Jesus drives out the people focused on making money (verse 46). This is not just a historical event. It marks a transition from order into chaos. In our own life there are things which are barriers. Things which prevent us from doing God’s will. This is the act of Baptism. The washing of ourselves in a spiritual sense. Not just once but throughout our lives. We too must be changed. God is acting to change the way we see things. A transformation which requires a shattering of our old ways of seeing things in order for the new way to be born in us.

rock-in-the-desertGod wants us to grow up. In our world today we must find liminal spaces, which cause us to change. A liminal space is a moment in our life, which we cannot control and is beyond our life as business as usual. In Australia many young people go on a schoolies holiday after finishing year 12 exams to mark the change from school to adulthood. Yet we must undertake these liminal spaces with a Christian vision in mind. Like going on an immersion to a third world country, taking a vow of poverty as a lay person for one year, giving up a year’s work and wages to help the poor or entering a formation as a brother, nun or priest when marriage seems to be the only option. These spaces are radical. They may seem dark upon entering. They would change us. However, there is a light to them which people don’t see. Like Jesus, they require lots of guts and courage. Some anger on the way and they create waves in the people around us. Liminal spaces essentially cause us to grow up. What liminal spaces do you need?

Pause for 1 minute to reflect on the Gospel….

Intentions
We bring these intentions to God.
1. We pray that we might take seriously our faith so that we to might enter liminal spaces which call us to change. Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

2. We pray and invite God to surprise us which causes us to look differently and causes us to embrace contradictions.Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

3. We thank God for brothers, nuns, priests, married people and single people who have taken a radical step in the choices in their life.Lord hear us.
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

Leader – Are there any other intentions?
Response – “Lord here our prayer”

Prayer by Michael Leunig
Dear God,
God bless our contradictions,
those parts of us which seem out of character.
Let us be boldly and gladly out of character.
Let us be creatures of paradox and variety:
creatures of contrast; of light and shade; creatures of faith.
God be our constant. Let us step out of character into the unknown,
to struggle and love and do what we will.
Amen

Our Father