Day 1 of the Fasting and Prayer Programme
Scripture Reading: Exodus 3:5-6
Welcome to the first day of our 9-Day Pentecost Fasting and Prayer. In examining the scriptural text of today’s reflection, sandals represent anything that acts as a barrier between man and God’s manifested presence. Those sandals could have been Moses’ favourites, but in the presence of God they must go. God may never tell you to take off your shoes; however, He will ask you to “remove your pride, arrogance, forgiveness, fornication, sexual impurity, stealing, idolatry, etc.”
Again, in Joshua 5:13-15, Joshua was also instructed to take off his sandals, after an angel gave him the plan to overcome Jericho. It’s only when we have taken off our sandals that we can see things from God’s perspective and recognize His plans. It’s about dying to yourself. It’s about relinquishing control and accepting the fact that you are not God and never will be.
Sometimes our successes can keep us from being really successful in things that matter the most. We can be too smart for our own good. When we hit a wall and the circumstances of life get dark, instead of taking off our shoes, we lace them up even tighter and try to kick our way through. But the walls are too thick and too tall. We end up experiencing more pain. We need to take off our shoes as we begin a 9-day spiritual journey to have an encounter with the Holy Spirit.
Acts 18:9-18; Ps 47:2-3.4-5.6-7 (R.8a); Accl Lk 24:46, 26; Gosp Jn 16:20-23a WEEKDAY OF EASTER
Prayer Point:
1. Prayer for the Spirit’s Conviction: Dear Lord Jesus, I ask You to send forth the power of the Holy Spirit into the lives of everyone in our parish community. If any members of the clergy are ensnared with the sins of clericalism, legalism, hypocrisy, spiritual pride, complacency, teaching false doctrines, exhibiting pharisaic attitudes, or displaying an outward form of godliness while inwardly denying your power, I ask You to send forth the gift of Your Holy Spirit’s conviction. If any member of the laity is polluting the spiritual atmosphere of the Church through their sins of idol worship, clergy worship, superstitious behaviours, complacency, spiritual stagnation, legalism, materialism, gossip, judgmental or pharisaic attitudes, I ask You to send forth the power of Your Holy Spirit to convict us of our sins. Gently lead all sinners back into a state of grace where they can authentically connect and commune with You in spirit and in truth. Please purify the spiritual atmosphere and airspace that surrounds Your sacred assembly. Cleanse the congregation so that Your Holy Spirit may dwell inside the lives and hearts of all Your beloved children. May the grandeur of Your holy presence be so profoundly encountered within Your courts that all Your children will be ignited with a fervent passion to serve You all the days of their lives. I ask this through my Lord Jesus Christ, Your son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
Exercise: Visit the Blessed Sacrament and meditate on Psalm 15.
Meditation: Joshua 5:13-15.