TUESDAY THE SEVENTEENTH OF APRIL, 2018
May the light of Jesus shine continually to drive away all darkness. May Christ, the Morning Star who knows no setting, find his light ever burning in our hearts, he who gives his light to all creation, and who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.
Clap your hands, all you mountains; you valleys, all ring!
O warble, you fountains; you little hills, sing!
He lives once again, as truly he said.
Unconquered, unharmed, he has come from the dead.
Clap hands, O you heavens; you firmament ring!
From highest to lowest, you universe sing!
The darkness and tumult have ended in calm,
and glory has come and victory’s palm.
Come forth, O you flowers, come forth with the Spring
and deck the fair plains with each blossoming thing!
With violets humble let roses be joined
and marigolds bright with lilies combined.
You song of rejoicing, rise higher and higher;
you spirit of gladness, breathe forth from the lyre.
For Jesus is risen, as truly he said;
unconquered, unharmed, he has come from the dead.
( Anonymous, sixteenth century )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Damien and Marianne: touching the lepers as Christ did
(transferred from Sunday)
Today we remember two special servants of Christ who undertook a ministry to lepers which offered dignity and care to them.
Joseph de Veuster was born in 1840 in Belgium, He took the religious name of Damien when he made his vows and he was sent to Hawaii to minister to the sick. As Father Damien began his ministry in Hawaii, leprosy was spreading rapidly throughout the islands. In 1863, King Kamehameha V ordered those with leprosy to be sent to an isolated peninsula on the northern coast of the island of Molokai. There, those afflicted by the disease were left with no aid.
Damien was among the first priests to arrive, and he remained there for the rest of his life, building houses, an orphanage, a church, and a hospital. He ate with those he served, worshipped with them, and invited them into his home.
He eventually contracted leprosy, later known as Hansen’s disease, and died in 1889.
Like Father Damien, Marianne Cope felt called to serve God as a religious. She became a sister of Saint Francis in Syracuse, New York, in 1862, and in 1870 she began work as a nurse administrator at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in the city, where she was criticised for accepting alcoholics and other undesirable patients. In 1883, she received a letter from a priest in Hawaii asking for help managing the hospitals and ministry to leprosy patients. She arrived in Honolulu in 1883 and immediately took over supervision of the Kaka’ako Branch Hospital, which served as a receiving centre for leprosy patients from all over the islands. She also opened a care centre for the healthy children of leprosy victims.
In 1884, she met Father Damien, and in 1886, she alone ministered to him when his illness made him unwelcome among church and government leaders. She continued her work with hospitals and sufferers of Hansen’s disease until her death in 1918.
The fact that Hansen’s disease is completely treatable today takes nothing away from their work or their sacrifice. When Jesus cleansed and even touched the untouchable lepers, he was setting an example. Thanks be to God for people like Damien and Marianne who followed Christ in this way.
Scripture. In the eleventh chapter of "Matthew," at verses four to six, we read:
Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me."
... for peace in the world.
... for those who suffer from medical conditions which lead to them being shunned and discriminated against and for those few who remain with them and care for them.
... for hospital and hospice chaplains.
... for haemophiliacs and those living with other bleeding disorders. DETAILS
... for the people of Syria and American Samoa who celebrate their national day today.
... for victims of burglary, theft or fraud.
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.
From "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:
God created things which had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right.
Some people think they can imagine a creature which was free but had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible.
Why, then, did God give them free will?
Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata, of creatures that worked like machines, would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free.
Of course God knew what would happen if they (creatures with free will) used their freedom the wrong way: apparently he thought it worth the risk. Perhaps we feel inclined to disagree with him. But there is a difficulty about disagreeing with God. He is the source from which all your reasoning power comes: you could not be right and he wrong any more than a stream can rise higher than its own source. When you are arguing against him you are arguing against the very power that makes you able to argue at all: it is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on. If God thinks this state of war in the universe a price worth paying for free will (that is, for making a live world in which creatures can do real good or harm and something of real importance can happen, instead of a toy world which only moves when he pulls the strings), then we may take it it is worth paying.
God of compassion, we bless your name for the ministries of Damien and Marianne, who ministered to the lepers abandoned on Molokai in the Hawaiian Islands. Help us, following their examples, to be bold and loving in confronting the incurable plagues of our time, that your people may live in health and hope; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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