Mission Devotional - October 24, 2016

Opening Prayer: Lord, give me the ability to persist through tedium, to survive without the oxygen of recognition, praise, and stroking, and to do some good things every day which are seen only by You. (Sacred Space: the Prayer Book 2010 by Jesuit Communication Centre)

Scripture: Matthew 18:1-4

Journal: How do you attempt to find significance in your life and world? How does that intersect with the words of Jesus today? What does it look like to humble yourself?

Reflection: I don't know about you, but my need to be significant can be overwhelming at times, often determining my moods and my attitudes and even my actions. Glad to know I'm not alone, it seemed to be an issue for the disciples as well. They were always jockeying for position in the grand scheme of things, constantly asking how to become great in the kingdom. Maybe they, like me, struggled regularly with feelings of insignificance.

Today Jesus speaks directly to that struggle. "If you are feeling insignificant," he seems to be saying, "do not run away from it, but embrace it. Because when you are feeling insignificant in the eyes of the world you are on the right track. In fact, be proactive in that regard; humble yourselves. Make yourselves low. Be content with being hidden and unnoticed. Seek it out. Don't draw attention to yourselves. Don't seek out the company of the popular and the powerful of this world. Seek out the little ones, the lowly, the marginal. This is how you become great in the kingdom of God."

Prayer for the church, for others, for myself

Hugo and Jackie are from South Africa and have two children, Marlena and John. Hugo has been the leader of a media ministry and has also been providing oversight to the PALM ministry (Preparing Arab World Leaders for Ministry) for the last few years. Their mission is to engage young people of the Arab world through new media to facilitate church planting movements in partnership with local churches. Pray today for Hugo who is transitioning into a position as regional leader.

The Garbage City Alliance is a ministry to the Garbage City in Cairo, Egypt. Rebecca Atollah, the wife of Ramez Atollah, the leader of the Bible Society of Egypt, is a key worker at the St. Simon Coptic Orthodox Church in the Mokattam garbage village. Over the last twenty-five years she has helped with church planting and providing Christian education among the lowest of the low, Egypt's untouchables. Pray today for Rebecca and her work with the Garbage City Alliance.

Closing Prayer:

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. (The Litany of Humility)