Preghiera a San Giuseppe Moscati per un ammalato grave

Tante volte mi sono rivolto a te, o medico santo, e tu mi sei venuto incontro. Ora ti prego con sincero affetto, perché il favore che ti domando richiede un tuo particolare intervento (nome) si trova in gravi condizioni e la scienza medica può fare ben poco. Tu stesso hai detto: «Che cosa possono fare gli uomini? Che cosa possono opporre alle leggi della vita? Ecco la necessità del rifugio in Dio». Tu, che hai risanato tante malattie ed hai soccorso tante persone, accogli le mie suppliche e ottienimi dal Signore di vedere esauditi i miei desideri. Concedimi anche di accettare la santa volontà di Dio e una fede grande per accogliere le disposizioni divine. Amen.

Thursday (February 7): Jesus gave them authority over sickness and unclean spirits

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Thursday (February 7):  Jesus gave them authority over sickness and unclean spirits

Scripture:  Mark 6:7-13  

7 And he called to him the twelve, and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. 8 He charged them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; 9 but to wear sandals and not put on two tunics. 10 And he said to them, “Where you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. 11 And if any place will not receive you and they refuse to hear you, when you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet for a testimony against them.” 12 So they went out and preached that men should repent. 13 And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many that were sick and healed them.

Meditation: What kind of authority and power does the Lord want you to exercise on his behalf? Jesus gave his apostles both the power and the authority to speak and to act in his name. He commanded them to do the works which he did – to heal the sick, to cast out evil spirits, and to speak the word of God – the good news of the Gospel which they received from Jesus. When Jesus spoke of power and authority he did something unheard of. He wedded power and authority with self-sacrificing love and humility. The “world” and the “flesh” (our own sinful inclination) seek power for selfish gain. Jesus teaches us to use it for the good of our neighbor.

The Lord Jesus wants to work in and through each of us for his glory
Why does Jesus tell the apostles to “travel light” with little or no provision? “Poverty of spirit” frees us from greed and preoccupation with our possessions and makes ample room for God’s provision. The Lord wants his disciples to be dependent on him and not on themselves. He wills to work in and through each of us for his glory. Are you ready to use the spiritual authority and power which God wishes you to exercise on his behalf? The Lord entrusts us with his gifts and talents. Are you eager to place yourself at his service, to do whatever he bids you, and to witness his truth and saving power to whomever he sends you?

“Lord Jesus, make me a channel of your healing power and merciful love that others may find abundant life and freedom in you. Free me from all other attachments that I may joyfully pursue the treasure of your heavenly kingdom. May I witness the joy of the Gospel both in word and deed.”

Psalm 48:2-11

2 Beautiful in elevation, is the joy of all the earth, Mount Zion, in the far north, the city of the great King. 
3 Within her citadels God has shown himself a sure defense. 
4 For behold, the kings assembled, they came on together. 
5 As soon as they saw it, they were astounded, they were in panic, they took to flight; 
6 trembling took hold of them there, anguish as of a woman in travail. 
7 By the east wind you did shatter the ships of Tarshish. 
8 As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the LORD of hosts, in the city of our God, which God establishes for ever. [Selah] 
9 We have thought on your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. 
10 As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with victory; 
11 let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments! 

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Jesus gives them power to heal and cast out evil spirits, by Cyril of Alexandria (376-444 AD)

    “The grace bestowed upon the holy apostles is worthy of all admiration. But the bountifulness of the Giver surpasses all praise and admiration. He gives them, as I said, his own glory. They receive authority over the evil spirits. They reduce to nothing the pride of the devil that was so highly exalted and arrogant. They render ineffectual the demon’s wickedness. By the might and efficacy of the Holy Spirit, burning them as if they were on fire, they make the devil come forth with groans and weeping from those whom he had possessed…
    “He glorified his disciples, therefore, by giving them authority and power over the evil spirits and over sicknesses. Did he honor them without reason and make them famous without any logical cause? How can this be true? It was necessary, most necessary, that they should be able to work miracles, having been publicly appointed ministers of sacred proclamations. By means of their works, they then could convince men that they were the ministers of God and mediators of all beneath the heaven. The apostles then could invite them all to reconciliation and justification by faith and point out the way of salvation and of life that is this justification.” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON LUKE, HOMILY 47)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager

 

Wednesday (February 6): Jesus marveled because of their unbelief

Daily Reading & Meditation

 Wednesday (February 6):  Jesus marveled because of their unbelief

Scripture:  Mark 6:1-6

1 He went away from there and came to his own country; and his disciples followed him. 2 And on the Sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue; and many who heard him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get all this? What is the wisdom given to him? What mighty works are wrought by his  hands! 3 Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And  they took offense at him. 4 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands upon a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

Meditation: Are you critical towards others, especially those who may be close to you? The most severe critics are often people very familiar to us, a member of our family, a relative, or neighbor or co-worker we rub shoulders with on a regular basis. Jesus faced a severe testing when he returned to his home town, not simply as the carpenter’s son, but now as a rabbi with disciples. It would have been customary for Jesus to go to the synagogue each week during the Sabbath, and when his turn came, to read from the scriptures during the Sabbath service. His hometown folks listened with rapt attention on this occasion because they had heard about the miracles he had performed in other towns. What sign would he do in his hometown?

Look upon your neighbor with the eyes of Christ who comes to heal and restore us
Jesus startled his familiar audience with a seeming rebuke that no prophet or servant of God can receive honor among his own people. The people of Nazareth took offense at Jesus and refused to listen to what he had to say. They despised his preaching because he was a mere workman, a carpenter, and a layman who had no formal training by a scholar or teacher. They also despised him because of his undistinguished family background. How familiarity can breed contempt. Jesus could do no mighty works in their midst because they were closed-minded and unbelieving towards him. If people have come together to hate and to refuse to understand, then they will see no other point of view than their own and they will refuse to love and accept others. How do you treat those who seem disagreeable to you?

 The word “gospel” literally means “good news”. Isaiah had prophesied that the Messiah would come in the power of the Holy Spirit to bring freedom to the afflicted who suffered from physical, mental, or spiritual oppression (see Isaiah 61:1-2). Jesus came to set people free – not only from their physical, mental, and spiritual infirmities – but also from the worst affliction of all – the tyranny of slavery to sin, Satan, and the fear of losing one’s life. God’s power alone can save us from hopelessness, dejection, and emptiness of life. The Gospel of salvation is “good news” for everyone who will receive it. Do you know the joy and freedom of the Gospel?

“Lord Jesus, you are the fulfillment of all our hopes and desires. Your Spirit brings grace, truth, freedom, and abundant life. Set my heart on fire with your love and truth.”

Psalm 32:1-2,5,7,11

1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 
2 Blessed is the man to whom the LORD imputes no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. 
5 I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity;  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;  then you forgave the guilt of my sin. 
6 Therefore let every one who is godly offer prayer to you; at a time of distress, in the rush of great waters, they shall not reach him.
7 You are a hiding place for me, you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with deliverance.

Daily Quote from the early church fathers: Distinguishing God’s power and our faith, by Origen of Alexandria (185-254 AD)

“And perhaps, as in the case of metallic substances there exists in some a natural attraction toward some other thing, as in the magnet for iron, and in naphtha for fire, so there is an attraction in such faith toward the divine power according to what Jesus said: ‘If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, ‘Move to another place,’ and it shall be moved’ (Matthew 17:20). Matthew and Mark wished to present the all-surpassing value of that divine power as a power that works even in those who do not believe. But they did not deny that grace works even more powerfully among those who have faith. So it seems to me that they accurately said not that the Lord did not do any mighty works because of their unbelief, but that he did not do many there (Mark 6:5). Mark does not flatly say that he could do no mighty work there at all, and stop at that point, but added, ‘except that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk and healed them’ (Mark 6:5). Thus the power in him overcame even their unbelief.” (excerpt from COMMENTARY ON MATTHEW 10.19)

Meditations may be freely reprinted for non-commercial use – please cite: copyright (c) 2019 Servants of the Word, source:  www.dailyscripture.net, author Don Schwager