Faith Daily | 20 March 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Lent Four
in Christ you make all things new:
transform the poverty of our nature
by the riches of your grace,
and in the renewal of our lives
make known your heavenly glory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen APBA p488
GOSPEL for the Day: John 7: 40-52
40 When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, ‘This is really the prophet.’ 41Others said, ‘This is the Messiah.’* But some asked, ‘Surely the Messiah does not come from Galilee, does he? 42Has not the scripture said that the Messiah is descended from David and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David lived?’ 43So there was a division in the crowd because of him. 44Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
45 Then the temple police went back to the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked them, ‘Why did you not arrest him?’ 46The police answered, ‘Never has anyone spoken like this!’ 47Then the Pharisees replied, ‘Surely you have not been deceived too, have you? 48Has any one of the authorities or of the Pharisees believed in him? 49But this crowd, which does not know the law—they are accursed.’ 50Nicodemus, who had gone to Jesus* before, and who was one of them, asked, 51‘Our law does not judge people without first giving them a hearing to find out what they are doing, does it?’ 52They replied, ‘Surely you are not also from Galilee, are you? Search and you will see that no prophet is to arise from Galilee.’
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Carol Streatfield
Saint’s Day: St Cuthbert
How cautious, and at times correct, it is to follow set rules and directives. Our societies rely on the compliance of their citizens to function, and religions rely on adherence to their teachings to maintain the accuracy and authenticity of the message. But it seems that sometimes the message can get lost amongst the paraphernalia, or the window dressing can cause trouble when it is taken for the substance.
Despite Jesus’ recognised authority and effectiveness, the religious authorities of the day seemed to feel more concerned about technicalities than evidence of at least prophetic grace. Likewise, St Cuthbert experienced this problem when, even though he brought many people of Northumbria to the Christian message through the power of his personal example, understanding and authority, he was compelled to teach the revised rule for monastics on Lindisfarne when the Synod of Whitby ruled that the Roman form of Church practices must be followed rather than the Celtic. I wonder how much unnecessary conflict this caused, and how many people left the church then, and since, over what are essentially matters of control, fear and power? Not much of the Christian message in those.
FINAL PRAYER: “The Celtic Heart” St Cuthbert. (Carmina Gadelica, III, 267)
Peace between neighbours,
Peace between kindred,
Peace between lovers,
In love of the King of Life.
Peace between person and person,
Peace between wife and husband,
Peace between woman and children,
The peace of Christ above all peace.
Bless, O Christ, my face,
Let my face bless every thing;
Bless, O Christ, mine eye,
Let mine eye bless all it sees.