Faith Daily | 6 January 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p479
by the leading of a star
you manifested your only-begotten Son to the Gentiles:
mercifully grant, that we, who know you now by faith,
may after this life be led to the vision
of your glorious Godhead;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 5: 12-16
12 Once, when he was in one of the cities, there was a man covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground and begged him, ‘Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean.’ 13Then Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, ‘I do choose. Be made clean.’ Immediately the leprosy left him. 14And he ordered him to tell no one. ‘Go’, he said, ‘and show yourself to the priest, and, as Moses commanded, make an offering for your cleansing, for a testimony to them.’ 15But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. 16But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Rev’d Jan
In Sunday School, for me many decades ago, the memory is of being told these stories of Jesus curing people as ‘miracle work’. I cannot remember being presented Jesus as ‘healer’, as some one who heals not only physical ailments but indeed the soul. Perhaps as a child it is important to know Jesus can ‘fix’ people up, that nothing is impossible with him. It is risky business though, because looking around the world, indeed just the local community, as a child grows, the question has to be ‘why aren’t you fixing that person, Jesus?’
Or, perhaps more significantly, what does it have to do with me? which is the key question because everything Jesus has to do with me, with you, is about relationship and so the questions really are ‘what do you have to do with me? what do I have to do with you?’
Thus the faith journey becomes real; and the reality includes the suffering and struggle as well as the grace and joy. The completeness of life in Christ is of all… “I have come to bring the fulness of life”. When we embrace life as full, then we look for God in that all, and we learn (and it is a lifelong process) to discover God’s goodness and eternal presence in all things. In the face of the other, in the evil intention, in the despair of palliative suffering, in the delight of a child with seashell to ear. In all, for all, of all, beyond and within all. There is God.
FINAL PRAYER The Sea Shell WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract Of inland ground, applying to his ear The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell; To which, in silence hushed, his very soul Listened intensely; and his countenance soon Brightened with joy; for murmurings from within Were heard, sonorous cadences! whereby To his belief, the monitor expressed Mysterious union with his native sea. Even in such a shell the Universe itself Is to the ear of Faith: and there are times, I doubt not, when to you it doth impart Authentic tidings of invisible things; Of ebb and flow and ever-during power; And central peace, subsisting at the heart Of endless agitation.