Daily Reading ? Meditation

Monday (July 7): "Take heart, your faith has made you well"

Scripture:  Matthew 9:18-26

18 While he was thus speaking to them, behold, a ruler came in and knelt before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your  hand on her, and she will live." 19 And Jesus rose and followed him, with his disciples. 20 And behold, a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment; 21 for she said to herself, "If I only touch his garment, I shall be made well." 22 Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, "Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well." And instantly the woman was made well.  23 And when Jesus came to the ruler's house, and saw the flute players, and the crowd making a tumult, 24 he said, "Depart; for the girl is not dead but sleeping." And they laughed at him. 25 But when the crowd had been put outside, he went in and took her by the hand, and the girl arose.  26 And the report of this went through all that district.

Meditation: Do you take your troubles to the Lord with expectant faith and confidence in his help? People in desperate or helpless circumstances were not disappointed when they sought Jesus out. What drew them to Jesus? Was it hope for a miracle or a word of comfort in their affliction? What did the elderly woman who had suffered greatly for twelve years expect Jesus to do for her? And what did a grieving father expect Jesus to do about his lost beloved daughter?

Words of hope directed to God
Jesus gave hope where there seemed to be no human cause for it because his hope was directed to God. He spoke words of hope to the woman (Take heart, daughter!) to ignite the spark of faith in her (your faith has made you well!). And he also gave divine hope to a father who had just lost a beloved child.

It took considerable courage and risk for the ruler of a synagogue to openly go to Jesus and to invite the scorn of his neighbors and kin. Even the hired mourners laughed at him in scorn. Their grief was devoid of any hope. Nonetheless, Jesus took the girl by the hand and delivered her from the grasp of death. In both instances we see Jesus' personal concern for the needs of others and his readiness to heal and restore life.

The infinite love of God
 In Jesus we see the infinite love of God extending to each and every individual as he gives freely and wholly of himself to each  person he meets. Do you approach the Lord with confident expectation that he will hear your request and act?

"Lord Jesus, you love each of us individually with a unique and personal love. Touch my life with your saving power, heal and restore me to fullness of life. Help me to give wholly of myself in loving service to others."

Psalm 91:1-2,14-15

1 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty,
2 will say to the LORD, "My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust."
3 for he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;
4 he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
14 Because he cleaves to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.
15 When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will rescue him and honor him.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Daughter, your faith has made you well, by John Chrysostom (347-407 AD)

"So what did Messiah do? He did not let her go unnoticed but led her into the center of attention and made her visible. He had many reasons for doing this. Some might imagine that 'he did this merely for love of glory - otherwise why would he not allow her to remain concealed?' But what are they proposing who might say this? That he should keep her silent, that he should ignore her need, and thereby pass up miracles too numerous to mention, all because he is in love with glory? What an unholy thought, inspired by the most unholy one of all."

"What then is his intention in bringing her forward? First, Jesus puts an end to her fear. He does not want her to remain trapped in dread. He gives no cause for her conscience to be harmed, as if she had stolen the gift. Second, he corrects her assumption that she has no right to be seen. Third, he makes her faith an exhibit to all. He encourages the others to emulate her faith. Fourth, his subduing the fountains of her hemorrhage was another sign of his knowledge of all things. And finally, do you remember the ruler of the synagogue? He was at the point of despair, of utter ruin. Jesus is indirectly admonishing him by what he says to the woman." (excerpt from the  THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 31.2)


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author Don Schwager © 2014 Servants of the Word

Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers.
 

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