In today’s Gospel, we hear a story of the sick and possessed brought to Jesus seeking relief from their sufferings. Jesus laid his hands on each of them, and they were cured. Gospels passages relating to Jesus’ healing of all those brought to him abound.
The Kingdom that Jesus proclaimed was a reversal of the impact and consequences of “original sin” that had ruptured the creation’s oneness with its Creator. The Kingdom would usher in “original grace.” Jesus’ healing ministry was a sign of that Kingdom already present in Jesus, who was human yet had a unique relationship with the Creator, Sonship.
Jesus reached out to the blind, the lame, the deaf, the possessed, the alienated, the despondent. He preached the good news to the poor and gave them hope and a renewed sense of God’s love.
Jesus commanded his disciples to continue his healing ministry. In Acts, we read how the disciples did precisely that. But this healing was to be for all time until the Second Coming.
This healing ministry was dramatically lived out in our nation from its early days by women religious who built hospitals, orphanages, and places of comfort and support for the elderly. They visited prisons. They founded schools to help the immigrants of many nations to integrate safely into a society that despised them. They served in cholera epidemics and every other crisis that ravaged the people of this country. They reached out to Native Americans and people of color. They kept responding to any need that called for healing.
What gave them the strength and vision? The Eucharist strengthened them for their work of mercy and healing. That same Eucharist feeds us as we loving reach out to heal those most in need. We, too, can then usher in God’s Kingdom.
Let Us Pray:
Jesus, so much of your ministry was healing the sick, the alienated, the outcasts, and those pushed to the periphery. Give me an abundance of grace that today I might bring healing, joy, comfort, and peace to be an effective agent in helping to realize the Kingdom in my corner of creation. Amen.