Faith Daily | 12 January 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p526
who anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit
and revealed him as your beloved Son:
inspire us, your children,
who are born again of water and the Spirit,
to surrender our lives to your service,
that we may rejoice to be called your children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 1: 40-45
40 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling* he said to him, ‘If you choose, you can make me clean.’ 41Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I do choose. Be made clean!’ 42Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. 43After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, 44saying to him, ‘See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’ 45But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country; and people came to him from every quarter.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d David
We know God answers prayer, but praying for Divine healing of illness or disease has long been debated among Christians, because we also know that these prayers are not always answered.
This past year has seen a larger than usual incidence of illness in our Parish community and I am one of that number. So I have revisited this subject and the way the Bible shows us we should respond to it, and I believe that the passage before us today helps in that reflection.
Jesus is travelling through villages in Galilee and this man found Him, knelt in front of Him and begged to be healed. The stand out words in this passage are his words to Jesus “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean”.
He came to Jesus with humility and respect, acknowledging that He is Lord of all, and believing that He was able to heal him if it was in accordance with His will. I think this indicates something of an awareness that there may be a purpose in his affliction. Without hesitation and moved with compassion, Jesus touched him and the leprosy was healed.
This event along with all the accounts of Jesus’ healing show us that He wants us to come to Him in the way this man did, in our prayer for His healing touch.
But St Paul adds a word of personal testimony that informs our faith as we do. There are times when God allows us to experience physical affliction which is to grow our relationship with Him. Like St Paul, who said he came before the Lord three times for the removal of his “thorn in the flesh”, until finally the answer came. He understood that the Lord wanted him to learn to live with it by the grace of God (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NLT)
So for me, the challenge comes to learn what St Paul learned- “My grace is all you need”, even if the medical issues continue until the day He calls me home.
Heavenly Father, thank you for healing our lives from sin through your beloved Son. Strengthen our faith even when we don’t understand what you ask us to bear in life. Give us a heavenly perspective even if you do not heal our physical bodies, that we may know your grace is all we need. Through Jesus Christ our Lord,