Faith Daily | 25 June 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p552
Almighty and everlasting God,
you are always more ready to hear that we to pray,
and give more than either we desire or deserve:
pour down upon us the abundance of your mercy,
forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid,
and giving us those good things
which we are not worthy to ask,
save through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ,
your Son our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 8: 1-4
When Jesus had come down from the mountain, great crowds followed him; 2and there was a leper who came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.” 3He stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I do choose. Be made clean!” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed. 4Then Jesus said to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but go, show yourself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Alan Dann
There are a number of significant phrases in this short passage from Matthew’s gospel.
Jesus came down from the mountainside following the Sermon on the Mount.
A large crowd followed him.
A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him.
He had faith in Jesus – “you can make me clean”.
All it took was a touch and the words I am willing – be clean.
But do not tell anyone but go to the priest with an offering.
Greek scholars tell us that the Greek word traditionally translated as leprosy can refer to a number of skin complaints. However, if it was leprosy, and we have no reason to doubt, it is a horrible disfiguring disease that slowly consumes the body and for which there was no cure. Priests derided lepers – deprived them of food and threw stones at them. They were often banished to slums outside the town fortifications.
What faith the leper must have had. He knew Jesus could heal him. Jesus responded to the act of faith and his individual need; performed a miracle; healed the leper and then told him not to tell anyone. We are left wondering whether the following crowd saw what Jesus did, however, Jesus did not seek fame or popularity. That would follow. Knowing the attitude of the priests to lepers Jesus was sending a message to the priests.
The message to us today is that Jesus can and will perform miracles of healing if we have faith in him and it is his will to do so.
FINAL PRAYER: Celtic Daily Prayer, Book 2
We pray in your presence, O Christ,
you who knows our needs, hears our cries,
feels our pain, and heals our wounds.
We belong to you utterly.
You take our sins and throw them behind your back.
You clean our souls as you washed the disciples’ feet.
We hold up our hearts to you;
make them what they must be.