Psalm 31.1-5,15-16.
David is praying that God will deliver him from his enemies. He trusts God to be his refuge, his rock and his fortress. Verse 5 is by now very familiar to all those who pray Compline with us (although the translation is slightly different): Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

Acts 7.55-60.
This same verse is prayed by Stephen, one of the leaders of the early church in Jerusalem, when he is being stoned to death for his faith. He also asks God to forgive the people who kill him. Among those is a young man, named Saul. He does not take part in the stoning, but guards the coats of the men who do, and approves of their actions. Before the stoning Stephen receives a vision of Jesus, standing at the right hand of God in glory.

John 14.1-14.
Jesus tells the disciples that he will go away to prepare a place for them in his Father’s house, where there are many dwelling-places. Just following him will show us the way to the Father, and the Father himself, because Jesus is the truth, the way and the life, the dwelling-place of God himself. Whoever follows him will do the works of Jesus, and Jesus will give them whatever they ask in his name.

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION, BASED ON THE READINGS:

- Our enemies these days: sickness and grief, isolation and loneliness, fear and anxiety, loss of freedom… Not just individually, but as a society. Let us keep on praying for ourselves, and the world: ‘Our times are in your hand; deliver us from the hand of our enemies and let your face shine upon us.’
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The young man, named Saul, is now known by all as the apostle Paul. Little did he know what God was intending for him, when he sat there with the coats, nodding approval of Stephen being stoned to death! No condemnation and punishment, but total forgiveness and acceptance, and even the very important ministry of preaching the gospel throughout the world. Let no one ever say, therefore, that they are not good enough to serve God in whatever way.

- If we want to know what God is like, we have to look at Jesus: all he has said, all he has done. But he tells us that we will do his works, too. Jesus is no longer with us on earth. If people want to know what God is like, they only have us to listen to and to look at. What do they hear? What do they see?
Scripture meditations