09 April | Sacred Readings v1

Jesus said, “A man had received visitors. And when he had prepared the dinner, he sent his servant to invite guests. He went to the first one and said to him, “My master invites you.’

He said, ‘I have claims against some merchants. They are coming to me this evening. I must go and give them my orders. I ask to be excused from the dinner.’ He went to another and said, ‘My master has invited you.’ He said to him, ‘I have just bought a house and am required for the day. I shall not have any spare time.’

He went to another and said to him, ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him, ‘My friend is going to get married, and I am to prepare the banquet. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused from the dinner.’ He went to another and said to him, ‘My master invites you.’ He said to him, ‘I have just bought a farm, and I am on my way to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. I ask to be excused.’ The servant returned and said to his master, ‘Those whom you invited to the dinner have asked to be excused.’

The master said to his servant, ‘Go outside to the streets and bring back those whom you happen to meet, so that they may dine.’ Businessmen and merchants will not enter the Places of My Father.”

The Gospel of Thomas


40

The movement of the Tao
By contraries proceeds;
And weakness marks the course
Of Tao’s mighty deeds.

All things under heaven sprang from It as existing (and named);
that existence sprang from It as non-existent (and not named).

Tao Te Ching


The third lesson came when a man, seeing himself as part of a greater life, was willing to sacrifice himself for the good of the whole, and so became strong enough to recognise that sacrifice was right, that a part, a fragment, a unit in the sum total of life, should subordinate the part to the whole, the fragment to the totality. Then he learned to do right, without being affected by the outcome to his own person, to do duty, without wishing for result to himself, to endure because endurance was right not because it would be crowned, to give because gifts were due to humanity not because they would be repaid by the Lord. The hero-soul thus trained was ready for the fourth lesson: that sacrifice of all the separated fragment possesses is to be offered because the Spirit is not really separate but is part of the divine Life, and knowing no difference, feeling no separation, the man pours himself forth as part of the Life Universal, and in the expression of that Life he shares the joy of his Lord.

Annie Besant