Faith Daily | 19 January 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 528
by whose grace alone we are accepted
and called to your service:
strengthen us by your Holy Spirit
and make us worthy of our calling;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 3: 1-6
Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. 2They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3And he said to the man who had the withered hand, ‘Come forward.’ 4Then he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?’ But they were silent. 5He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Carol Streatfield
I often have the feeling, when the healing miracles and the challenges of the Pharisees are told, that there must have been so many different reactions to what Jesus did. The Pharisees always stand out as the ‘bad guys’ but how many of them would have been confused by what Jesus was doing? Jesus operated from a core of love, which responded to each situation uniquely according to what was needed by the person or people involved at the time. However, the Pharisees (and we could say Good Anglicans also, at times) were trying to follow the rules and be Good Jews. Jesus was clearly breaking the rules; rules that went a long way back into the history of the Jewish people. When one doesn’t have the felt experience of God, or the original reason for the rules, then one only has the rules to carry one securely through life. Unfortunately, when a situation requires more than cold rules, but rather a warm heart, then there is an element of unpredictability in it and those who need some control to feel secure start to become unstuck. How often do we stick securely to the ‘way things are done’ because we like it that way, we feel secure, and we’re being ‘Good Anglicans’? Is that so bad, really?
FINAL PRAYER: Northumbrian Office
Let our memory
provide no shelter
for grievance against another.
Let our heart
provide no harbour
for hatred of another.
Let our tongue
be no accomplice
in the judgement of a brother.