Sirach 36:1-17; Psalm 79 Show u, O Lord, the light of your kindness; Mark 10:32-45
The Church has asked us priest and religious to pray what we call the divine office or the liturgy of the hours. It is a set of prayers, usually psalms with reading excerpts from various books of the bible coupled with intercessions and the "Lord's Prayer" that we are asked to recite daily, in fact several times a day.
It is our way of praying for the people of God a well as sanctifying the entire day, keeping us close to the Lord. The truth be told, if one is going to to do the Lord's work then one must be with the Lord continually.
Each time I pray, I remind myself that I am praying the very same prayers that priest and religious are praying throughout the world. It is pretty neat and down right awesome.
Each time we begin the prayer we do so with this phrase, "God come to my assistance, Lord, make haste to help me."
This is the very sentiment our first reading for today begins with "Come to our aid, O God of the universe, look upon us, show us the light of your mercies..."
Sometimes when I pray the office, I sit with the opening phrase a bit longer.
I am grateful for that opening, for that beginning of the prayer ritual. Some how it consoles me to know that even in prayer, I need the strength of God, the God of the universe to assist me if I will do Him honor by my weak attempt.
God come to my assistance, Lord make haste to help me.
Like the disciples in the gospel, we are both amazed and afraid for we know that prayer is meant to make us like Christ, a servant of the many, to give our life.
With out God's assistance this too would be mockery.
The fact of the matter is, I believe, the church asks us to start each prayer with that opening, "God come to my assistance, Lord, make haste to help us" in order to keep it all in proper perspective, to keep us small.
IT reminds us that all we do is rooted in the gift God has bestowed. Being small helps us recognize the wonder and awe of the God of the universe. This is good place to be.