Knights Templar

The Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

       
       

Weekly Prayers

Grand Priory of Knights Templar in the United Kingdom

From the Office of the Grand Priory Chaplains

 

Rev. Canon Philip Norwood

 Templar Prayers for Sunday 23rd September

Jesus said, “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners”. (Matthew 9.13)

Capernaum was a lakeside town in a strategic position. In Jesus’ time, the road from Egypt and the Mediterranean coast came through the town and headed off towards Damascus and the East. The river Jordan entered the lake not far away, and that river was the border between the two countries ruled by the Herod brothers, sons of the great King Herod. After the fall of the Roman and Byzantine empires, it was a place of interest for the Crusaders, but it lay in too vulnerable a position to become a base for them. Until 1973, it was on the tense border between Israel and Syria.

So it was a frontier post, a place for tolls to be levied and taxes to be collected. That’s why it interests us this week, for on September 21st the Church remembers Matthew the tax-collector.

When Jesus saw him at work, he said to him, “Don’t come anywhere near me you dishonest, money-grabbing, friend of the enemy!” Did he? Of course not – though that’s what everybody else might have said. In fact Jesus said, “Come with me.” Jesus might have disagreed fundamentally with what Matthew had been doing, but he respected him as a person, and valued his abilities, and that love of Jesus for him transformed him.

That has to be a pattern for our discipleship too. We are no better or worse probably than the men and women that Jesus drew to go with him in his mission, but it was Jesus’ belief in them rather than their belief in Jesus which inspired them. What happened to Matthew, Mary Magdalen and Zacchaeus, for instance, was dramatic, but the principle is fundamental for all of us. People are certainly encouraged to have self-worth. More significant for Christians is to recognise that our true worth is in God’s eyes.

That principle of having respect for others and seeing the value in others should determine all we do as Christians and as Templars, remembering that we are inspired in that principle by the one who respected, chose and died for us. Matthew powerfully honours his memory in the Gospel he wrote.

Take from us, Lord, all self-righteousness and open our hearts to the warmth of your love,that we may reach out in service to others, in the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen

For Members of our Order and others known to us, we pray for healing and comfort.   And we pray for those who care for them, at home, in hospital or care homes.

God bless,

Fr Philip.