Morning Prayer 29.4.21, Catherine of Siena, Mystic & Prophetic Witness, 1380

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.

A bust of Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been added to the Human Rights Porch at Washington National Cathedral, in the same area as Rosa Parks and Jonathan Daniels. Stonemason Sean Callahan did the carving, finishing on 8 April, World Holocaust Day; the bust will be dedicated this fall in an event with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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.

Christ Our Passover
1 Cor. 5:7-8; Rom. 6:9-11; 1 Cor. 15:20-22

Alleluia.
Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us; *
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, *
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; *
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all; *
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin, *
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead, *
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death, *
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die, *
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.

Psalm 50

1 The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken; *
and has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God shines forth in glory.
3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before God there is a consuming flame,
and round about a raging storm.
4 God calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of the chosen people.
5 Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice.”
6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of God’s cause; *
for it is God who is judge.

7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
“O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8 I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
9 I will take no bull-calf from your stalls, *
nor he-goats out of your pens;
10 For all the beasts of the forest are mine, *
the herds in their thousands upon the hills.
11 I know every bird in the sky, *
and the creatures of the fields are in my sight.
12 If I were hungry, I would not tell you, *
for the whole world is mine and all that is in it.
13 Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls, *
or drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving *
and make good your vows to the Most High.
15 Call upon me in the day of trouble; *
I will deliver you, and you shall honor me.”

16 But to the wicked God says: *
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and take my covenant upon your lips;
17 Since you refuse discipline, *
and toss my words behind your back?
18 When you see thieves, you make them your friends, *
and you cast in your lot with adulterers.
19 You have loosed your lips for evil, *
and harnessed your tongue to a lie.
20 You are always speaking evil of your kin *
and slandering your own flesh and blood.
21 These things you have done, and I kept still, *
and you thought that I am like you.”

22 ”I have made my accusation; *
I have put my case in order before your eyes.
23 Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24 Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God.”

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.

Thistledown: here today, gone tomorrow. (Senske Art)

THE LESSONS
Wisdom 5:9-23 (NRSV)

The wicked say, “All those things have vanished like a shadow, and like a rumor that passes by; like a ship that sails through the billowy water, and when it has passed no trace can be found, no track of its keel in the waves; or as, when a bird flies through the air, no evidence of its passage is found; the light air, lashed by the beat of its pinions and pierced by the force of its rushing flight, is traversed by the movement of its wings, and afterward no sign of its coming is found there; or as, when an arrow is shot at a target, the air, thus divided, comes together at once, so that no one knows its pathway. So we also, as soon as we were born, ceased to be, and we had no sign of virtue to show, but were consumed in our wickedness.”

Because the hope of the ungodly is like thistledown carried by the wind, and like a light frost driven away by a storm; it is dispersed like smoke before the wind, and it passes like the remembrance of a guest who stays but a day. But the righteous live forever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them. The Lord will take his zeal as his whole armor, and will arm all creation to repel his enemies; he will put on righteousness as a breastplate, and wear impartial justice as a helmet; he will take holiness as an invincible shield, and sharpen stern wrath for a sword, and creation will join with him to fight against his frenzied foes. Shafts of lightning will fly with true aim, and will leap from the clouds to the target, as from a well-drawn bow, and hailstones full of wrath will be hurled as from a catapult; the water of the sea will rage against them, and rivers will relentlessly overwhelm them; a mighty wind will rise against them, and like a tempest it will winnow them away. Lawlessness will lay waste the whole earth, and evildoing will overturn the thrones of rulers.

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.

If fate is mostly a function of the placement of stars and planets in your sign, we are passive observers, not human beings with agency. (India TV)

Colossians 2:8-23 (NRSV)

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ. For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily, and you have come to fullness in him, who is the head of every ruler and authority. In him also you were circumcised with a spiritual circumcision, by putting off the body of the flesh in the circumcision of Christ; when you were buried with him in baptism, you were also raised with him through faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead. And when you were dead in trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with him, when he forgave us all our trespasses, erasing the record that stood against us with its legal demands. He set this aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in it.

Therefore do not let anyone condemn you in matters of food and drink or of observing festivals, new moons, or sabbaths. These are only a shadow of what is to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. Do not let anyone disqualify you, insisting on self-abasement and worship of angels, dwelling on visions, puffed up without cause by a human way of thinking, and not holding fast to the head, from whom the whole body, nourished and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows with a growth that is from God.

If with Christ you died to the elemental spirits of the universe, why do you live as if you still belonged to the world? Why do you submit to regulations, “Do not handle, Do not taste, Do not touch”? All these regulations refer to things that perish with use; they are simply human commands and teachings. These have indeed an appearance of wisdom in promoting self-imposed piety, humility, and severe treatment of the body, but they are of no value in checking self-indulgence.

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.

(Deacon Gary Dumer)

Luke 6:39-49 (NRSV)

Jesus also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs are not gathered from thorns, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush. The good person out of the good treasure of the heart produces good, and the evil person out of evil treasure produces evil; for it is out of the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I tell you? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them. That one is like a man building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when a flood arose, the river burst against that house but could not shake it, because it had been well built. But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, immediately it fell, and great was the ruin of that house.”

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.

Pompeo Batoni, 1743: The Ecstasy of St. Catherine of Siena. She was a Dominican nun and theologian – author of 400 letters still in existence – who received her first mystical vision at age six. In time she reportedly levitated, much to the consternation of the other nuns present, who couldn’t understand that this showing wasn’t meant to glorify her, but to teach them – and us.

Collect of the Day: Catherine of Siena, Mystic and Prophetic Witness, 1380

Almighty and everlasting God, who kindled the flame of your love in the heart of your servant Catherine of Siena: Grant unto us the same strength of conviction and power of love that, as we rejoice in her triumph, we may profit by her example; through Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

NRA Leader Mocked after Botched Elephant Kill Video Surfaces

Weekly Gun Toll as of 4.28.21

836 total gun deaths last week (vs. 884 last week)
374 murders and unintentional deaths (vs. 422)
462 suicides (est. weekly average)

792 people injured (vs. 731)
10 mass shootings (vs. 13)
0 mass murders (vs. 1)

8 young children killed (vs. 11)
22 young children injured (vs. 16)
29 teenagers killed (vs. 37)
74 teenagers injured (vs. 62)

0 police officers killed (vs. 0)
3 police officers injured (vs. 5)
18 police officers killed YTD

15 persons killed by police (vs. 30)
16 persons injured by police (vs. 22)
401 persons killed by police YTD

24 defensive use incidents (vs. 23)
47 unintentional shootings (vs. 51)
13 murder-suicides (vs. 18)

Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the U.S. National Rifle Association, went on safari in Botswana in 2013 for an NRA TV show that never aired because he couldn’t hit an elephant from 20 feet away, even with a guide telling him where to aim. He is a gifted talker and a formidable lobbyist, but Toto’s pulled the curtain on him. (The New Yorker)

A Prayer to End Gun Violence
© Daily Office Network

O Lord our God, we pray for the victims of the other pandemic, as gun violence ravages our homes, our streets, our businesses, schools and houses of worship. We pray for the children killed and injured, for their families and classmates. We pray for teenagers gunned down before their lives have really started. We pray for police officers who keep fighting a never-ending battle, while trying to keep themselves and everyone else safe; and we pray for an end to racial profiling in law enforcement. We pray for all who are depressed or mentally ill, wanting to hurt themselves or others, in a nation where guns are everywhere. We pray for the victims of crime who are forced to defend themselves and their loved ones. We pray for anti-violence activists and community leaders, in a time when new methods of protest and reform must be created. Let your demands for justice and cries for peace be heard, O Lord, in our legislative chambers and in our hearts; may your healing grace overtake this land, through our Savior Jesus Christ. 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. Alleluia, alleluia.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia, alleluia.

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

VIDEO: Bless the Beasts and the Children (Barry DeVorzon, Perry Botkin, Jr.) – Carpenters, 1971

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