Wisdom 1:13-15, 2:23-24; Ps 30:2, 4-6, 11-13; 2 Corinthians 8:7-9, 13-15; Mark 5:21-
In the three years of Jesus’ public life healing people took up 20% of his time and 20% of that was spent driving out evil spirits. That is how Jesus got many people’s attention. I often see the apostles as his "body guards," to keep him from being crushed by the crowds. I love this story in Mark 5:21-43 today for we have two beautiful examples of his healing.
Jesus came back to his early home base of Capernaum, the fishing village home of St. Peter. A large crowd gathered around him. Jairus, a synagogue official, asked Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. As Jesus went on that sick call, a women managed to "push" her way through the crowd just to touch Jesus. She was instantly healed of her 12-year blood problem. Jesus sensed power had gone from him and asked, "Who touched me?" Trembling, the woman told her story. Jesus said it was her faith in him that healed her.
When Jesus arrived at Jairus’ home, he put out the mourners. he took Peter, James and John with the girl’s parents and healed the little girl. Then St. Mark is famous for having Jesus give a strict orders, "Don’t tell anyone." Da! This girl was "brought back from the dead," and a women got a great healing and they were not to tell anyone? Wouldn’t you want everyone to know?
Does Jesus heal today? Jesus began his ministry reading Isaiah 61:1f, one evening in a synagogue, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me…. he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor." We also received that commission when we were baptized. St. Matthew tells us in 10:6-8: "Go instead after the lost sheep of the house of Israel. As you go, make this announcement: The reign of God is at hand! Cure the sick, raise the dead, heal the leprous and expel demons. The gift you have received, give as a gift." Does that sound exciting? As followers of Jesus this is still the commission of many of us, almost 2,000 years later.
In the various healing stories of Jesus’ ministry we can identify many categories. There are physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, relationship, family tree, genetic line, grief and loss, past memories and inner healing, imagination and vows, various sexual areas, a father / mother wound, inner child and self identity wounds as well as deliverance from evil spirits. Most difficulties can fit into one of these groups. Of the six hundred renewal movements the Vatican identifies around the world today, the Charismatic Movement in the last 47 years has touched more people world-wide than any other movement. And healing people is one of its chief characteristics. Find an older group and see for yourself. I have over the last 45 years.
The five healing parts of the Mass
Every Mass said every day all over the world continues this healing / deliverance ministry in a general way. The Mass is divided up into five healing parts. The first part is asking forgiveness for our own sins and forgiving those who have hurt us. The second is learning how to live our lives according to God’s plan found in our sacred Scriptures, not what the government tells us is politically correct.
The third part of the Mass is placing all of our needs or pains up to Jesus as the priest offers bread and wine. The fourth and critical part happens when the priest asks the holy Spirit to change bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus. As we have the deeper faith of the "blood flow" women in today’s Gospel, we can also ask to be changed and healed. When we come to communion Jesus is touching us as we touch him. he is already present in us yet Jesus heals us and "charges our battery," as you will, and fills us with "divine gas."
At the final part of the Mass we have been so healed and filled with Jesus that we are now ready to go out into the world with the light and power of Jesus to be his healing heart to those we meet during the day. And with this light of Christ at times we have to stand against the evil darkness that we see around us. There are two deliverance prayers at each Mass. The end of the Our Father and the prayer immediately after it, "Deliver us O Lord from every evil, etc." Very simple.
We may not affect others and the world in the dramatic way Jesus did in today’s gospel story. Yet as we move through the world some of God’s power flows out of us to bless others and we can feel drained. We may say a kind word or hello to someone, do our job at work or not participate in gossip. We could also give a little Divine Mercy picture to the waiter or the check-out clerk. I gave a little picture to the young check-out lady in Wal-Mart last night. She looked at it with a smile and asked for three more for her children. I was delighted and so was she. I keep several pictures in my "heart" pocket.
Dear friends, for you are my friends reading these words, we shall meet in heaven someday and tell our "little or big" stories of sharing Jesus. Let’s bring that joy and light of Jesus to those we meet this week and remember to "keep your battery" charged.
+ Fr. Bob Hilz
(© 2015 Fr. Bob Hilz, TOR)