Archive for the ‘healing’ Category

What healing requires (Luke 17:11-19)

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Yesterday’s Gospel reading told the story of ten lepers who called upon Jesus for a healing. All were healed, but only one realized he was truly healed and returned to give thanks to God. While the other nine were healed in body, the tenth was healed also in heart, mind and soul.

Leprosy was a terrible scourge, the AIDS of its time. Besides the physical toll it took, it also ravaged the inner life  like no other. Illnesses create emotional wounds because of the isolation and fear they cause. Despite the love and sympathy of family and friends, you still ultimately have to bear your illness alone. But an illness that is not ‘acceptable’ creates deeper wounds because of the shunning one receives as a result. Lepers were banished from all contact with family, friends and society. Because of the ease in which the disease was transmitted, and the physical ugliness that it created, people ran in horror from you if you were a leper. Who can forget those haunting scenes from the movie “Ben Hur,” where we find Ben Hur’s mother and sister in the leper colony, stripped of all hope. AIDS victims today often face the same treatment.

So for Jesus to even acknowledge lepers was radical. In many cases, He even touched them.

In the case of the ten, He surely meant to heal each totally of his wounds: heart, mind, body and soul. The body obviously was the easiest part to heal. The healing of the inner self requires a much deeper faith.

Perhaps this is why the tenth leper was able to come back and thank Jesus when the other nine could not. His faith was deep enough to accept a total healing.

That kind of faith requires an openness found in a childlike heart that has not been hardened by bitterness and pain, the kind of heart Jesus says we must have to find life in Him. When one has a heart like that, one sees plainly the blessings, and the healing, that come from the Lord.

I find that the more I am clinging to Jesus, moment to moment, as a child would cling to a parent, the more I can see Him, even down to the smallest blessing or the smallest sin that I commit. This is what it takes to ‘see’ a healing. It’s all too easy to forget about Jesus as He is not physically in plain view. But I have His Word to read, His Spirit living within me and His people around me, especially in His Church, and it’s up to me to claim these things each and every day.

Appreciating the true beauty – reflections on readings for Sept. 16

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Here are today’s readings
1 Corinthians 15:1-11; Psalm 118:1-2,16-17,28; Luke 7:36-50

I was touched by the beauty of today’s Gospel reading about the sinful woman washing the feet of Jesus, and the purity of her love despite her sins. In The Word Among Us, the writer speaks of this love as being the vehicle by which Jesus offers His forgiveness. Her love was so pure that she wasn’t put off by dirty feet! She gave totally of herself, asking nothing in return. Here was  a true repentant heart!

What also struck me was how the Pharisee, Simon (who was hosting Jesus) missed the entire point of the exchange. He was so busy judging the woman and sticking to a legalistic observance of his faith, that he was blind to what was really going on. He couldn’t appreciate the beauty of the woman’s love, or of Jesus’ tender recognition of that love simply by accepting what she gave.

What touched me also was how Jesus dealt with Simon. Rather than call him out for being judgmental, he used a parable to gently but firmly teach him about what he was missing. Jesus had such finesse!

What it says to me is twofold:

1. Don’t let preconceived notions and assumptions blind to you to what is really going on.
2. Pray for wisdom whenever you to confront or correct someone – the direct approach is not always the best way!

There is so much to be learned from the Word of God!

Reflections on the Sunday readings, September 5

Sunday, September 5th, 2010

It was almost like God was chattering in my head as I read, so many things came to mind today!

Before my reflections, here are the readings:

Wisdom 9:13-18, Psalm 90:3-6,12-17, Philemon 9-10,12-17, Luke 14:25-33

The reading from Wisdom seemed to fit nicely with the Psalm. Wisdom speaks of how hard it is even to figure out what’s going on here on earth, never mind heaven! It speaks of our souls, burdened by the corruption of our bodies, and our minds are filled with worldly concerns. How can we ever hope to perceive the thoughts of God who is so far above all of this because of His perfection? Are we just to mire in earth’s chaos?

But then the refrain to the psalm brings that hope:  In every age, O Lord, you have been our refuge.

While I am no student of history, I do love it and see more and more how important it is to remember our history so as to give perspective to the present and the future. The world today seems out of control and on the brink of disaster, but this is hardly the only time this has been the case! If we just go back less than 100 years to the Great Depression and then WWII, certainly the chaos in the world was every bit as bad as it is now. But in that age, just as in this age, God is our refuge.

I used to really stress out over money because we always seemed to come up short. I’d wake up in the pre-dawn hours and worry myself sick before getting out of bed, and I faced each day with dread. My husband used to keep reminding me that “God always takes care of us.” I used to sweep that notion away, saying that he was burying his head in the sand, but he was right! When I finally took stock of my life and reviewed my own life history, I saw that yes, in every age of our lives, God had been our refuge.

I could never figure out what to do nor could I easily discern God’s will. But when I finally surrendered my anxieties to Him and let Him be my refuge, then I was healed totally of all my money fears. Praise be to God! He is indeed, our refuge.