Pain and suffering.
Two things that we want to avoid and for good reason. They do not make us feel good. However these things can be great teachers and if we are open to it we can let God bring us healing and
take us to new levels of awareness in our lives.
Take the man born blind in a recent gospel from the Catholic lectionary. This story is full of wisdom for our lives. One of the first things that occurs when Jesus comes upon this man is that the apostles ask him whose sin caused him to be born blind-his or his parents’. Jesus’ answer is clear and to the point. It is nobody’s sin that caused his blindness-it is for the glory of God. How many of us are holding on to things that we did years ago thinking that God is punishing us for what we did? God has forgiven us. Have we forgiven ourselves?
God enters the world in the person of Jesus to heal us. The root word of salvation is the same as that for healing - salve. We must learn to be more open to the healing presence of God in our lives. We must let God forgive us. Let God love us. Believe in the healing presence of the Christ.
The other thing we see happening in the story of the man born blind is the Pharisees disbelief in this miracle and getting angry at Jesus for healing on a Sabbath. They don’t seem to want to believe that Jesus did this and the fact that he broke one of the rules of his faith makes him a sinner. They appear to be jealous and fearful of Jesus. Does it sound familiar to anybody? Religious leaders being more concerned about rules than people. Unfortunately it still happens.
Jesus does not give in to their intimidation. The Pharisees even go to the parents of the man born blind and question them. They respond by saying he is old enough to answer for himself. Jesus finally tells these religious leaders what is real. God loves people more than rules. God is forgiving and does not make people prove their worthiness for God’s love or forgiveness.
This story is a challenge to anyone who calls themselves Christian.
Can we be healers not only of physical illness but of emotional and relational illness?
Can we heal the wounds in the earth?
Can we heal the wounds in our government and our churches?
Can we heal the wounds that cause us to be isolated and depressed?
Can we bring a smile, love, compassion, empathy, forgiveness and an openness to listen to others to our wounded relationships?
Can we answer the call to be like Christ and heal what is broken?
Life in the spirit
John is a professional musician and a deacon in the Roman Catholic Church. His blog will center around the arts in spirituality and how spirituality applies to everyday life.
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