Daily Devotion for February 22, 2019
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Bach’s stirring Gloria from the Mass in B Minor. The only lyrics are Gloria in excelsis Deo - “Glory to God in the highest” - et in terra pax homiibus bonae voluntatis - “and on earth peace, good will to men.” (Or, “peace to men of good will.”)
For Perseverance Today
If things get tough today, Lord — and in all hard times — let me stay motivated and calm. Let me look at how far I have come rather than how far I still have to go. Let me continue counting my blessings, not what I've been missing. May every day bring new chances to grow, new beautiful things to see, new plans to do, and new goals to pursue, as every new day is Your miracle day.
O gracious Lord, I am heartily sorry, and beg pardon for my sins, especially for my little respect, and for wandering in my thoughts when in your presence, and for my continual infidelitys to your graces; for all which I beg pardon, by the merits of the Blood you shed for them.
[How are we healed by St. Peter’s shadow?]
All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Who Will Judge Me?
“I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
~ John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople; sermon, ca. 400
Acts 5:12-16 (ESV)
St. Peter’s Shadow
ow many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem.
And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. The people also gathered from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Notes on the Scripture
From the moment of Christ’s resurrection, the courage of Christ’s followers has risen slowly. What Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin feared is coming to pass. The apostles teach and heal openly, both in the streets of the city and on Solomon’s porch — the very eastern portico of the Temple of Jerusalem, the holiest place in Judaism and the seat of the Sanhedrin. They realize they might be arrested and executed; but they nevertheless spread Christ’s word with vigor.
By now, Peter’s fame as the founder of the church has become established. As they did with Jesus, people gather in the streets hoping simply that his shadow will fall upon them. This is symbolic of St. Peter’s legacy; for the church that he founds will survive, to save those who become members, after his body has died. As we say today, “he cast a long shadow.”
At this point, word of Christ’s resurrection and the new church in Jerusalem has begun to spread. People have begun to flood into Jerusalem from the areas around it. The Holy Spirit is spreading like a wildfire, emanating from a central point in an expanding ring of righteousness.
These earliest converts are the physically and mentally ill, which reflects Christ’s teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. The poor in spirit, the most humble and meek, are the first to be blessed. Their physical illness is symbolic of the spiritual illness that has infected the world since the time of Adam.