Morning Prayer 19.11.20, Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231

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Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god.

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton is winning unexpected new acclaim for helping fund early development and testing of Moderna’s proposed new Covid-19 vaccine, which is said to be 95% effective. She is close friends with a surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, who told her last winter about promising experiments his colleagues were running, before any funding sources were identified. “Would a million dollars help?” Maybe it was just dumb luck – or maybe the Lord works in mysterious ways, Jolene. (Mark J. Terrill/AP, 2019)

The Lord is in the holy temple; let all the earth keep silence. Habakkuk 2:20

INVITATORY AND PSALTER

Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. Alleluia.

Psalm 95:1-7

Come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us shout for joy to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before God’s presence with thanksgiving;
and raise to the Lord a shout with psalms.
For you are a great God;
you are great above all gods.
In your hand are the caverns of the earth;
and the heights of the hills are yours also.
The sea is yours, for you made it,
and your hands have molded the dry land.
Come, let us bow down and bend the knee,
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For you are our God,
and we are the people of your pasture, and the sheep of your hand.
Oh, that today we would hearken to your voice!

Psalm 105:1-22

1 Give thanks to the LORD and call upon God’s Name; *
make known the deeds of the LORD among the peoples.
2 Sing to the LORD, sing praises, *
and speak of all God’s marvelous works.
3 Glory in God’s holy Name; *
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
4 Search for the LORD and the strength of the LORD; *
continually seek the face of God.
5 Remember the marvels God has done, *
the wonders and the judgments of God’s mouth,
6 O offspring of Abraham, God’s servant, *
O children of Jacob, God’s chosen.
7 The LORD is our God, *
whose judgments prevail in all the world.
8 The LORD has always been mindful of the covenant, *
the promise made for a thousand generations:
9 The covenant made with Abraham, *
the oath sworn to Isaac,
10 Which God established as a statute for Jacob, *
an everlasting covenant for Israel,
11 Saying, “To you will I give the land of Canaan *
to be your allotted inheritance.”
12 When they were few in number, *
of little account, and sojourners in the land,
13 Wandering from nation to nation *
and from one realm to another,
14 God let no one oppress them *
and rebuked rulers for their sake,
15 Saying, “Do not touch my anointed *
and do my prophets no harm.”

16 Then the LORD called for a famine in the land *
and destroyed the supply of bread.
17 The LORD sent a man before them, *
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet in fetters; *
his neck they put in an iron collar.
19 Until his prediction came to pass, *
the word of the LORD tested him.
20 The king sent and released him; *
the ruler of the peoples set him free.
21 He set him as a master over his household, *
as a ruler over all his possessions,
22 To instruct his princes according to his will *
and to teach his elders wisdom.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Sackcloth, dust and ashes. (Catholic Co.)

THE LESSONS
Malachi 2:1-16 (NRSV)

And now, O priests, this command is for you. If you will not listen, if you will not lay it to heart to give glory to my name, says the LORD of hosts, then I will send the curse on you and I will curse your blessings; indeed I have already cursed them, because you do not lay it to heart. I will rebuke your offspring, and spread dung on your faces, the dung of your offerings, and I will put you out of my presence. Know, then, that I have sent this command to you, that my covenant with Levi may hold, says the LORD of hosts. My covenant with him was a covenant of life and well-being, which I gave him; this called for reverence, and he revered me and stood in awe of my name. True instruction was in his mouth, and no wrong was found on his lips. He walked with me in integrity and uprightness, and he turned many from iniquity. For the lips of a priest should guard knowledge, and people should seek instruction from his mouth, for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by your instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi, says the LORD of hosts, and so I make you despised and abased before all the people, inasmuch as you have not kept my ways but have shown partiality in your instruction.

Have we not all one father? Has not one God created us? Why then are we faithless to one another, profaning the covenant of our ancestors? Judah has been faithless, and abomination has been committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah has profaned the sanctuary of the LORD, which he loves, and has married the daughter of a foreign god. May the LORD cut off from the tents of Jacob anyone who does this — any to witness or answer, or to bring an offering to the LORD of hosts. And this you do as well: You cover the Lord’s altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor at your hand. You ask, “Why does he not?” Because the LORD was a witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant. Did not one God make her? Both flesh and spirit are his. And what does the one God desire? Godly offspring. So look to yourselves, and do not let anyone be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the LORD, the God of Israel, and covering one’s garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts. So take heed to yourselves and do not be faithless.

Canticle: A Song of Wisdom
Wisdom 10:15-19,20b-21

Wisdom freed from a nation of oppressors *
a holy people and a blameless race.
She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord, *
withstood dread rulers with wonders and signs.
To the saints she gave the reward of their labors, *
and led them by a marvelous way;
She was their shelter by day *
and a blaze of stars by night.
She brought them across the Red Sea, *
she led them through mighty waters;
But their enemies she swallowed in the waves *
and spewed them out from the depths of the abyss.
And then, Lord, the righteous sang hymns to your Name, *
and praised with one voice your protecting hand;
For Wisdom opened the mouths of the mute, *
and gave speech to the tongues of a new-born people.

Wage theft is as old as the Bible and as new as Thursday; it costs Americans more than burglary, car theft and larceny combined, a 2014 survey showed, and similar findings have been reported in Australia and the UK. This is a photo of Foxconn employees in 2012, when investigations showed rampant wage theft and worker exploitation at the Chinese electronics giant, a major supplier of Apple Computer. Walmart has paid millions in wage theft settlements; department stores and other retailers are frequently accused too, with the cheapest workers the most frequent victims. (Bobby Yip/Reuters)

James 4:13—5:6 (NRSV)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin.

Come now, you rich people, weep and wail for the miseries that are coming to you. Your riches have rotted, and your clothes are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you, and it will eat your flesh like fire. You have laid up treasure for the last days. Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts. You have lived on the earth in luxury and in pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. You have condemned and murdered the righteous one, who does not resist you.

Canticle: A Song of True Motherhood
by Julian of Norwich

God chose to be our mother in all things *
and so made the foundation of his work,
most humbly and most pure, in the Virgin’s womb.
God, the perfect wisdom of all, *
arrayed himself in this humble place.
Christ came in our poor flesh *
to share a mother’s care.
Our mothers bear us for pain and for death; *
our true mother, Jesus, bears us for joy and endless life.
Christ carried us within him in love and travail, *
until the full time of his passion.
And when all was completed and he had carried us so for joy, *
still all this could not satisfy the power of his wonderful love.
All that we owe is redeemed in truly loving God, *
for the love of Christ works in us;
Christ is the one whom we love.

Lot’s wife – or a stone formation that reminds us of her, at the Sanctuary of Lot’s Cave near Safi, Jordan. (Wikipedia)

Luke 17:20-37 (NRSV)

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Then he said to the disciples, “The days are coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, and you will not see it. They will say to you, ‘Look there!’ or ‘Look here!’ Do not go, do not set off in pursuit. For as the lightning flashes and lights up the sky from one side to the other, so will the Son of Man be in his day. But first he must endure much suffering and be rejected by this generation. Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them. Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulfur from heaven and destroyed all of them—it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it. I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.” Then they asked him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”

THE APOSTLES’ CREED

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ,
God’s only son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

THE PRAYERS

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your Name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours,
now and for ever. Amen.

V. Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
R. Govern and uphold them, now and always.
V. Day by day we bless you;
R. We praise your Name for ever.
V. Lord, keep us from all sin today;
R. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
V. Lord, show us your love and mercy;
R. For we put our trust in you.
V. In you, Lord, is our hope;
R. And we shall never hope in vain.

Marianne Stokes, 1895: St. Elizabeth Spinning for the Poor. She did what Jesus told the wealthy to do, selling her jewels amidst famine and plague to found a hospital for the poor in 1226.

Collect of the Day: Elizabeth, Princess of Hungary, 1231

Almighty God, by your grace your servant Elizabeth of Hungary recognized and honored Jesus in the poor of this world: Grant that we, following her example, may with love and gladness serve those in any need or trouble, in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

U.S. Gun Deaths Declined 5% Last Week

Week of November 12-18, 2020
Source: Gun Violence Archive

Last Week’s Gun Toll as of 11.18.20

858 total gun deaths last week (vs. 909)
396 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 447)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

829 people injured (vs. 920)
13 mass shootings (vs. 9)
0 mass murders (vs. 0)

4 young children killed (vs. 3)
13 young children injured (vs. 15)
21 teenagers killed (vs. 23)
73 teenagers injured (vs. 89)

1 police officers killed (vs. 2)
8 officers injured (vs. 7)
54 police officers killed YTD

29 persons killed by police (vs. 28)
15 persons injured by police (vs. 11)
1,149 persons killed by police YTD

21 defensive use incidents (vs. 25)
54 unintentional shootings (vs. 52)
12 murder-suicides (vs. 6)

A Prayer to End Gun Violence
Diocese of Newark

Gracious Lord who loves us so perfectly, help us to better love you and each other. We weep for the gun violence that kills children and so many others, where guns replaced prayers and homes without you bred frustration. May hearts be changed through your Holy Spirit that justice, mercy, money and, yes, even guns might be used rightly under Heaven, through Jesus Christ your Son, our Lord. Amen.

Please add your own intercessions, supplications and thanksgivings here.

For the Mission of the Church

Almighty God, you sent your Son Jesus Christ to reconcile the world to yourself: We praise and bless you for those whom you have sent in the power of the Spirit to preach the Gospel to all nations. We thank you that in all parts of the earth a community of love has been gathered together by their prayers and labors, and that in every place your servants call upon your Name; for the kingdom and the power and the glory are yours for ever. Amen.

Let us bless the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

God’s blessing be with us,
Christ’s peace be with us,
the Spirit’s outpouring be with us,
now and always. Amen.++

VIDEO: Hear my prayer, O Lord (Henry Purcell, Z. 15, 1682; based on Ps. 102:1) – Choir of Clare College, Cambridge, dir. Timothy Brown, 2006

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