Podcast Worship

Daily Prayer for 10 March (Lent)

Listen to a service of Daily Prayer for 10 March, including a reflection on Matthew 21.33-43, 45-46 (Lent 2: Friday)


O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Hear our voice, O Lord, according to you faithful love,
according to your judgement give us life.

Blessed are you, God of compassion and mercy,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In the darkness of our sin,
your light breaks forth like the dawn
and your healing springs up for deliverance.
As we rejoice in the gift of your saving help,
sustain us with your bountiful Spirit
and open our lips to sing your praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.

Matthew 21.33-43, 45-46

Jesus said to the chief priests and the elders of the people: ‘Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watch-tower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, “They will respect my son.” But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, “This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.” So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?’ They said to him, ‘He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.’ 

Jesus said to them, ‘Have you never read in the scriptures: “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes”? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom.’

When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet. 


Jesus said to them: Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone?’

When the term ‘cornerstone’ comes up in our readings from scripture I find that people have very different images in their minds. The most common image, and that which I have often heard used by preachers, speaks of the stone which fixes an arch in place. The stone which creates a secure and binding whole from a pile of stones that would otherwise collapse. However, the formal definition of a ‘cornerstone’ provides us with a more powerful image when the term is used in relation to Jesus.

A cornerstone is also known as a ‘foundation stone’ or a ‘setting stone’. A cornerstone is the first stone to be set in the construction of a building. Every other stone will be set in reference to the cornerstone. In this way the cornerstone determines the shape and the alignment of the whole building. It cannot be denied that Jesus is the strategically powerful stone that holds all together, but perhaps it is better for us to think of him as the one who determines the shape of what will come into being around him.

Jesus is the cornerstone around which every community of faith should be built. Jesus is the one true and firm fixed point around which we should align ourselves as we bring his Church into life in the communities in which we live out our daily lives. Of course, aligning ourselves with Jesus is not easy because it demands care and great precision, there is no room for slapdash workmanship or cutting corners. As we take our place in the fabric of the Church we need to accept that there is no room for compromise because, through compromise, we weaken the structure and we diminish its mission.

Today we are called to reflect upon the way in which we live out our faith in this world. Are we loyal and true to the teachings of Christ, or do we constantly compromise through self-interest and anger? Are we willing to take our small and seemingly insignificant place in a much greater whole, or are we one of those who are constantly trying to shape things to suit ourselves? Are we committed to being led by the cornerstone who is also the Son of God, or do we think that we know better? Let us pray for the wisdom, the patience and the joy of playing our part in making the building (Christ’s Church on earth) the strongest it can possibly be.


In penitence and faith let us make our prayer to the Father
and ask for his mercy and grace.

For your holy people,
that they may triumph over evil and grow in grace,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For candidates for baptism and confirmation,
that they may live by every word that proceeds from your mouth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the leaders of the nations,
that you will guide them in the ways of mercy and truth,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the needy,
that they may not be forgotten,
nor the hope of the poor be taken away,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the sick in body, mind and spirit,
that they may know your power to heal,
we pray to you, O Lord.

For the poor in spirit,
that they may inherit the kingdom of heaven
and see you face to face,
we pray to you, O Lord.

Let us commend the world, for which Christ suffered,
to the mercy and protection of God.

Almighty God,
by the prayer and discipline of Lent
may we enter into the mystery of Christ’s sufferings,
and by following in his Way
come to share in his glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Christ give us grace to grow in holiness,
to deny ourselves, 
take up our cross, 
and follow him;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among us and remain with us always.