Lent Two, Year C

Musical Reflection
Go Down Moses by Louis Armstrong



Brooding Spirit,
beneath your wings
there is creation and life:
accompany us on the difficult path
with the disappeared and the broken,
the fearful and the vengeful,
until we find the way
to the city of our peace
where we are accepted as we are;
Intimate Lord,
you offer us a glimpse
of life transformed,
creation glorified:
through the vision of Moses and Elijah
free us from gods of our own making
and lead us to true worshipof Jesus Christ, the humble Child of Earth, our only Lord.


First Reading
Advice to a Young Prophet

by Thomas Merton

Keep away, son, these lakes are salt. These flowers
Eat insects. Here private lunatics

Yell and skip in a very dry country.

Or where some haywire monument
Some badfaced daddy of fear

Commands an unintelligent rite.

To dance on the unlucky mountain,
To dance they go, and shake the sin

Out of their feet and hands,

Frenzied until the sudden night
Falls very quiet, and magic sin

Creeps, secret, back again.

Badlands echo with omens of ruin:
Seven are very satisfied, regaining possession:

(Bring a little mescaline, you’ll get along!)

There’s something in your bones,
There’s someone dirty in your critical skin,
There’s a tradition in your cruel misdirected finger

Which you must obey, and scribble in the hot sand:

“Let everybody come and attend
Where lights and airs are fixed
To teach and entertain. O watch the sandy people

Hopping in the naked bull’s-eye,

Shake the wildness out of their limbs,
Try to make peace like John in skins
Elijah in the timid air

or Anthony in tombs:

Pluck the imaginary trigger, brothers.

Shoot the devil: he’ll be back again!”

America needs these fatal friends
Of God and country, to grovel in mystical ashes,
Pretty big prophets whose words don’t burn,

Fighting the strenuous imago all day long.

Only these lunatics, (O happy chance)
Only these are sent. Only this anaemic thunder

Grumbles on the salt flats, in rainless night:

O go home, brother, go home!
The devil’s back again,

And magic Hell is swallowing flies.


Second Reading
Dream of the Phone Booth
by Emilia Phillips

My story’s told in the mis-dial’s

hesitance & anonyms of crank calls,

in the wires’ electric elegy

& glass expanded by the moth

flicker of filament. I call a past

that believes I’m dead. On the concrete

here, you can see where

I stood in rust, lashed to the grid.

On the corner of Pine & Idlewood,

I’ve seen a virgin on her knees

before the angel

of a streetlight & Moses stealing the Times

to build a fire. I’ve seen the city fly

right through a memory & not break

its neck. But the street still needs a shrine,

so return my ringing heart & no one

to answer it, a traveler whose only destination is

waywardness. Forgive us

our apologies, the bees in our bells, the receiver’s

grease, days horizoned

into words. If we stand

monument to anything,

it’s that only some voices belong

to men.


Gospel Reading 1
Luke 13:31-35

At that time, some Pharisees approached Jesus and said, “Go! Get away from here, because Herod wants to kill you.”

Jesus said to them, “Go, tell that fox, ‘Look, I’m throwing out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will complete my work. However, it’s necessary for me to travel today, tomorrow, and the next day because it’s impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those who were sent to you! How often I have wanted to gather your people just as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings. But you didn’t want that. Look, your house is abandoned. I tell you, you won’t see me until the time comes when you say, Blessings on the one who comes in the Lord’s name.”

Gospel Reading 2
Luke 9:28-36

About eight days after Jesus said these things, he took Peter, John, and James, and went up on a mountain to pray. As he was praying, the appearance of his face changed and his clothes flashed white like lightning. Two people, Moses and Elijah, were talking with him. They were clothed with heavenly splendour and spoke about Jesus’s departure, which he would achieve in Jerusalem. Peter and those with him were almost overcome by sleep, but they managed to stay awake and saw his glory as well as the two men with him.

As the two people were about to leave Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it’s good that we’re here. We should construct three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—but he didn’t know what he was saying. Peter was still speaking when a cloud overshadowed them. As they entered the cloud, they were overcome with awe.

Then a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Child, my chosen one. Listen to him!” Even as the voice spoke, Jesus was found alone. They were speechless and at the time told no one what they had seen.


Musical Reflection
Elijah Rock by Mahalia Jackson


by Plato, adapted

Beloved God of the woods and streams,
grant us to be beautiful inwardly,
and all that we have of outer things
to be at peace with those within.
Counting only the wise to be truly rich,
increase to all who here abide
their stores of gold.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Parent of the Universe,
manifesting thyself as generative energy,
Bend over us and remove
all that clutters our being
and set apart a place
where thy sacredness may dwell.
Fill us with thy creativity,
so that we may be empowered to bear
the fruit of thy vision.
Then, moving to the heartbeat of thy desire,
make us the embodiment of thy compassion.
Drawing from the ground of our humanity
grant that we may renew each other
with love, understanding, and sustenance.
Empty us of frustrated hopes and despair,
as we restore others to a renewal of vision.
And let us not fall into agitation,
but save us from precipitous actions.
For thou art the ground
of the fruitful vision, the birthing-power, and the fulfilment,
as all is gathered and made whole once again. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Jesus is the Only Answer by Béla Fleck and the Ateso Jazz Band


Bless to us, O God,
the doors we open,
the thresholds we cross,
the roads that lie before us.
Go with us as we go
and welcome us home.

May the blessing of God – the One From Whom, the One Through Whom,
and the One in Whom We Offer Our Praise
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.



Artwork by Auguste Rodin

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Go Down Moses by Louis Armstrong

Poem Advice to a Young Prophet by Thomas Merton

Poem Dream of the Phone Booth by Emilia Phillips

Musical Reflection Elijah Rock by Mahalia Jackson

Prayer by Plato

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Jesus is the Only Answer by Béla Fleck and the Ateso Jazz Band

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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