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Almighty God our heavenly Father, renew in us the gifts of your mercy; increase our faith, strengthen our hope, enlighten our understanding, widen our charity, and make us ready to serve you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Look at this image.  What is your first impression, your overall sense of this place?  Now look more closely.  What do you especially notice? The bright colors, light, wood and stone. The tables set.  Immerse yourself in this scene and imagine what happens here.

Reflect. These tables are set, welcoming, ready to serve the guests with food and drink, as they arrive.  In our Collect today, we pray for spiritual gifts, for our charity, our loves for others to “widen,” and that the Divine One make us ready to serve.  Ready to serve our God, and to serve our neighbors.  Consider a way in which you are ready to serve, or identify something that you personally need to serve the needs of others.

Act.  Today is a good day, as are all days, to do something in service to God.  The best we can do is to serve the needs of the another, thereby serving the Divine One.  Use a gift you identified.  You will surely encounter someone today who needs it.  When you do, remember to serve.

Thanks for taking part in New and Contrite Hearts. Your comments are very welcome—let others know what you saw and experienced. Until next time, may you have a most blessed Lent.

Music: “Ambient Sonata”  /Album:  Ambient Sonata  /Artist: Dee Yan-Key

Image:   “Set Tables ”   /Place: Winery, Orvieto, Italy  /Photographer: Jon Shematek