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Faith Daily | 1 February 2022

PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 533


O Lord,

you have taught us

that all our doings without love are worth nothing:

send your Holy Spirit,

and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,

the true bond of peace and of all virtues,

without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.

Amen.


GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 5 : 21-43

21When Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other side, a great crowd gathered around him; and he was by the sea. 22Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw him, fell at his feet 23and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live.”


24So he went with him. And a large crowd followed him and pressed in on him. 25Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years. 26She had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse. 27She had heard about Jesus, and came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28for she said, “If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well.” 29Immediately her hemorrhage stopped; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease. 30Immediately aware that power had gone forth from him, Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, “Who touched my clothes?” 31And his disciples said to him, “You see the crowd pressing in on you; how can you say, ‘Who touched me?’” 32He looked all around to see who had done it. 33But the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came in fear and trembling, fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. 34He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”


35While he was still speaking, some people came from the leader’s house to say, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the teacher any further?” 36But overhearing what they said, Jesus said to the leader of the synagogue, “Do not fear, only believe.” 37He allowed no one to follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38When they came to the house of the leader of the synagogue, he saw a commotion, people weeping and wailing loudly. 39When he had entered, he said to them, “Why do you make a commotion and weep? The child is not dead but sleeping.” 40And they laughed at him. Then he put them all outside, and took the child’s father and mother and those who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha cum,” which means, “Little girl, get up!” 42And immediately the girl got up and began to walk about (she was twelve years of age). At this they were overcome with amazement. 43He strictly ordered them that no one should know this, and told them to give her something to eat.

GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Cheryl Courtice


Oh, the healing power of touch!

The words “touch” and “power” spring out from these verses and remind me how much I have missed the personal touch, that has become so rare, since we replaced it with washing our hands and maintaining our personal distance. Being a bit of a hugger myself, it was a common way to greet family and friends. Standing there instead, feeling awkward and waving my elbow in the air, left me most unsatisfied.


Then came a time when some of us felt safe to hug again and the hugs became longer and tighter. Why does it feel so good to be enveloped in someones arms and squeezed (gently)?


Our precious daughter often talks about looking forward to “squeezing” us and we look forward to “squeezing” her. When she returned to Australia in December for Christmas, she flew into NSW to avoid quarantine. We joined her in Byron Bay for some wonderful family time, full of hugs and squeezing, before all returning to Qld. While we regularly video call with her, she felt that the close personal contact with family and friends was worth the stress of travel…covid test results getting back on time, three weeks of non refundable hotel quarantine on returning to Hong Kong etc. etc.


Now we are back being very careful with our personal distancing and my heart goes out to those who have not felt some loving arms around them for a very long time. May we find ways to touch people with our care and attention until we can again give them a decent squeeze.


FINAL PRAYER:


Most loving and powerful God,

Thank you for the power of your touch.

For the healing that it brings,

and the reassurance that it gives.

Help me to reach out to others,

with that healing and reassurance,

however I can.

God, I stand in awe of your work.

I bring to you my efforts.

Give them lasting value for your glory.

In the name of Jesus,

Amen.

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