Epaphras Prayer Letter

Twenty-fifth Sunday After Pentecost

Week of November 8, 2021 | Sunday, November 14, 2021

“Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down” (Mk. 13:23). Jesus has harsh words for the works of men. Here his disciples, the inner core, no less, have been admiring their beauty, perhaps a little overcome with the wonder of such magnificent construction. Yet, Jesus draws them into a future where this magnificent construction is nothing but a pile of rubble, not one stone left atop another, complete destruction. Such a fate awaits every work of humankind from the most elaborate and magnificent of holy buildings dedicated to the glory of God to the humblest abode called home for a human family. Nothing remains standing. Like its buildings, all humanity’s works—even those works called good works—will be thrown down, destroyed, passing away when this old creation passes away. All that remains is the Word of God for it endures forever. That, indeed, summarizes Jesus’ judgment upon the works of this age.

Prayers from one caught in the necessity of working and building while knowing the futility of it all passing away…

My Father God, you have revealed that all my works, indeed all the works of humanity, will pass away; nothing will endure. Grant that I receive meaning from your Word, Jesus Christ, rather than those which, however grand, will be consigned to the dustbin of history. Holy and merciful Father, hear my prayer.

My Father God, Jesus your Son our Lord, has prophesied that those who bear his name—that is, Christians—will be hated by the world. Grant that I receive your love in the person of Jesus Christ and count that sufficient even though the world hates me. Holy and merciful Father, hear my prayer.

My Father God, your Holy Spirit promises to work faith in those who hear your Word and receive your Sacraments… to work faith whenever and wherever you choose. So choose the time and place of the Spirit’s work of faith in me that I may live confidently in the salvation you provide. Holy and merciful Father, hear my prayer.

My Father God, as I wait for the fullness of my salvation to be realized in the manifest coming of Jesus Christ, provide me with neighbors who will occupy the work of my hands just as Christ fills my conscience. Holy and merciful Father, hear my prayer.

My Father God, in these days of waiting, grant that my neighbors will trust me to fulfill my vocational duties in my family, my neighborhood, and in my workplace. Holy and merciful Father, hear my prayer.

My Father God, in these the days of my baptism when I am confronted by your law’s demands and am driven to repentance and confession, grant that I also receive your gospel which returns me to the promises of my baptism. Holy and Merciful Father, hear my prayer. Amen

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