Saturday, August 15, 2009

Whoever believes....

I sometimes wonder how many Catholics really trust in the Lord Jesus and His words of truth. For example, Our Master told us that, "Whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works, because I am going to the Father" (Jn 14: 12). The commission to carry on His healing work was not given strictly to ministerial priests, but to the common priesthood of the faithful, to "whoever believes" in the Lord Jesus. Let's stop and meditate very carefully on these words since we live in a word-saturated society with information overload.

The Lord Jesus, our Creator and Redeemer, assures us that if we believe in Him, we will accomplish even greater works than He performed because He will intercede for us to the Father and because of the corporate dimension of our faith - our works are performed not by one man but by all those who profess Jesus as Lord. Jesus now uses "whoever believes" in Him as an extension of Himself to cure new multitudes of people with His love. We who believe become His hands.

It is so easy for us to believe that the gift of healing is reserved only for certain individuals who have received a unique and supernatural call from God to heal others. But God does not have favorites: "..In truth, I see that God shows no partiality . Rather, in every nation whoever fears him and acts uprightly is acceptable to him." (Acts 10: 34, 35).

We might argue, "But I'm not worthy." Who is? The Good News is that the Lord Jesus came to save us "while we were still sinners" (Romans 5: 8), and desires to use us with all of our weaknesses, our inadequacies and our impurities. When we acknowledge our own sin, our own weakness, then we rely on the Lord Jesus. For, as St. Paul reminds us, this is the source of supernatural strength: "Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12: 10).

So enough excuses. To truly have faith in God means that we trust that the Father's will for us is much more wonderful than anything we can imagine. Reflect on John 10: 10. When I was 18 years old, I nearly died. My appendix ruptured and I had a temperature of 107. But before toxins could spread throughout my body, my mother - a truly amazing woman with many charismatic gifts - prayed over me. There was the sensation of heat. The rupture mysteriously sealed - something doctors were at a loss to understand. But we knew what had happened. "Why, it's nothing short of miraculous," one doctor quipped. "I know," I responded. Our God is a God of miracles.

And so we pray:

Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Allow your healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others. Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all. Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in my need, and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever.



asia said...

" Faith! Have faith! God is both Doctor and Medicine!" by St. Leopold Mandic

Ellen Wironken said...

Fr. Donald Gelpi, S.J., has said that, "..we Catholics cannot rediscover the purpose of these sacraments in any meaningful way unless we are truly convinced that they possess efficacious power to heal. This means quite simply, that we can no longer dismiss or despise the faith-healing practiced by many of our non-Catholic brethren. On the contrary, we must understand its true significance and place in the life of every Christian community. We must also come to see the sacramental ministry of healing as integral to every priestly vocation. And we must come to a sound theological understanding of the relation of a sacramental to a charismatic ministry of healing." (Pentecostal Piety, p. 43).

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