Fr. James' Lectionary

The Lectionary is both a reading program for completing all of Holy Scripture on a one year schedule, and a daily comment on a portion of the day's reading wedded to a poem to give an added perspective on the theme.

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Location: Amherst, Virginia, United States

Monday, December 18, 2006

The Homely Example: IV Maccabees 18 with poem by Mamie Gene Cole, The Child's Appeal

Daily Readings
Psalm 74, I Maccabees 4, IV Maccabees 18, Luke 15

Daily Text: IV Maccabees 18

The Homely Example
Concluding his treatise, the author in IV Maccabees 18, summarizes the benefits of family life and honoring God, and goes on to recommend these patterns and these persons to the Hebrew population as worthy examples. The homely example of the father of the seven brothers reading to them the stories of Abel slain by Cain, of Isaac as sacrifice, of Joseph in prison and a number of others is a heartwarming ending to this emotionally disturbing work. His point about the exercise of reason as master of the emotions has been made over and over again, and yet here at the end it is simply mentioned in verses one and two, with humbler images capturing us at the end.

The Child’s Appeal
Mamie Gene Cole

I am the Child.
All the world waits for my coming.
All the earth watches with interest to see
what I shall become.
Civilization hangs in the balance,
For what I am, the world of tomorrow will be.

I am the Child.
I have come into your world, about which I
know nothing.
Why I came I know not;
How I came I know not.
I am curious; I am interested.

I am the Child.
You hold in your hand my destiny.
You determine, largely, whether I shall
succeed or fail.
Give me, I pray you, those things that make
for happiness.
Train me, I beg you, that I may be a blessing
to the world.
407:1085

Collect for the Day
O God, when violence threatens and destruction seems at hand, help us to remember that you maintain your cause and still rule your universe through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

[476:802:Psalm 74 Psalm prayer]

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