Final Prayer and Example of Meditation


Another place you will find an opportunity for meditation is within our staffroom prayers.

I would like to use one of those prayer times to end our time together now, to give you the opportunity to be still, to contemplate the love God has for you and to be in His presence.

I invite you to be still as you listen to the music.

Breathe deeply.

(pause)

Notice what the distractions are in your mind and imagine placing them to one side.

(pause)

Allow your mind to be filled with the words from the scripture we’re about to hear.

Let’s listen to a reading from St Luke’s Gospel

The tax collectors and the sinners were all seeking the company of Jesus to hear what He had to say, and the Pharisees and the scribes complained. “This man,” they said, “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” So He spoke this parable to them:

“A man had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, let me have the share of the estate that would come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. A few days later, the younger son got together everything he had and left for a distant country where he squandered his money on a life of debauchery. 

“When he had spent it all, that country experienced a severe famine, and now he began to feel the pinch, so he hired himself out to one of the local inhabitants who put him on his farm to feed the pigs. And he would willingly have filled his belly with the husks the pigs were eating but no one offered him anything. Then he came to his senses and said, ‘How many of my father’s paid servants have more food than they want, and here am I dying of hunger! I will leave this place and go to my father and say: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as one of your paid servants.’ So he left the place and went back to his father.

“While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with pity. He ran to the boy, clasped him in his arms and kissed him tenderly. Then his son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring out the best robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the calf we have been fattening, and kill it; we are going to have a feast, a celebration, because this son of mine was dead and has come back to life; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

“Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. ‘Your brother has come,’ replied the servant, ‘and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.’ He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.’

“The father said, ‘My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”

With joy and delight, the father in the parable rushes out to welcome home his wayward son. With no deliberation or a moment’s pause the response is immediate.  Is the father’s response to his son’s repentance surprising to you?

Unconditional love meant that complete joy was the only response possible. Here we have the model for forgiveness and being forgiven, but is such a joyful reconciliation always as easy? Imagine receiving the father’s loving response.

Let’s listen to how the elder son responds to his father’s joyful forgiveness.

“Now the elder son was out in the fields, and on his way back, as he drew near the house, he could hear music and dancing. Calling one of the servants he asked what it was all about. ‘Your brother has come,’ replied the servant, ‘and your father has killed the calf we had fattened because he has got him back safe and sound.’ He was angry then and refused to go in, and his father came out to plead with him; but he answered his father, ‘Look, all these years I have slaved for you and never once disobeyed your orders, yet you never offered me so much as a kid for me to celebrate with my friends. But, for this son of yours, when he comes back after swallowing up your property – he and his women – you kill the calf we had been fattening.’

“The father said, ‘My son, you are with me always and all I have is yours. But it was only right we should celebrate and rejoice, because your brother here was dead and has come to life; he was lost and is found.’”

Perhaps in time, the elder son began to understand the depth of his father’s love. How can you help to develop such understanding amongst pupils? How can you help to promote an environment of peaceful and joyful reconciliation, where individuals are encouraged to work together to resolve differences?

Finally, let’s take a moment to privately offer any prayers in your heart for yourself, a family member, a friend, your school, a colleague, a pupil or their family.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.
Amen.

Thank you so much for joining me this afternoon and I do hope you have found the session useful.

I hope to see you again, for one of our future CPD sessions. For now, goodbye and God bless.

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