Faith Daily | 28 March 2022
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p 48
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.
GOSPEL for the Day: John 4: 43-54
When the two days were over, he went from that place to Galilee (for Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honour in the prophet’s own country). When he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, since they had seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the festival; for they too had gone to the festival.
Then he came again to Cana in Galilee where he had changed the water into wine. Now there was a royal official whose son lay ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ The official said to him, ‘Sir, come down before my little boy dies.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your son will live.’ The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way. As he was going down, his slaves met him and told him that his child was alive. So he asked them the hour when he began to recover, and they said to him, ‘Yesterday at one in the afternoon the fever left him.’ The father realized that this was the hour when Jesus had said to him, ‘Your son will live.’ So he himself believed, along with his whole household. Now this was the second sign that Jesus did after coming from Judea to Galilee.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Graham
As we go through the season of Lent, when we re-examine our lives and make new resolutions, it can be easy to get totally caught up with our own personal lives and the effect we have on others. Yes, it could mean that others might feel excluded because of what they see in us as false piety. I know that, in hindsight, there have been times when I have been so introspective during Lent that my association with others has been affected.
While Jesus was welcomed into Galilee by many, there were probably those who had questions or doubts. Was the royal official such a person? We are not told. Was Jesus testing him when he spoke the words, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.’ Obviously, the man was in need of assurance and comfort because of the distress he faced at the time. And Jesus saved the man’s son. Jesus did not exclude him but showed compassion in working the miracle.
Twice we are told that the official believed. The second time, he had proof of the claims which had been made of Jesus’ abilities and who he was. Jesus did not reject him, but welcomed him and his household into his fellowship.
In one of his many articles, Richard Rohr wrote, ‘If you read the Gospel texts carefully, you will see that the only people Jesus seems to "exclude" are those who are excluding others. Exclusion might be described as the core sin. Don't waste any time rejecting, excluding, eliminating, or punishing anyone or anything else. Everything belongs, including you.’
May our lives constantly reveal inclusion, not exclusion, difficult as it might be at times.
Your Son has shown us that all people are worthy of your love.
May we not exclude any we meet or know by our thoughts, words, or actions, but follow his example and teaching, so that all of us may come to know your peace.
This we pray in his name and through the power of the Holy Spirit.