Healing of Gergesenes reading
23 July 1989 (?)
In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
Time and again we hear in the Gospel the story of men or women who were healed of their illnesses. And it seems so simple in the Gospel: there is a need, and God meets it. Why isn’t then – we ask ourselves – that it does not happen to each of us? Each of us is in need of physical healing and of the healing of our soul. And yet, only a few are healed why? What we miss in the reading of the Gospel is that Christ did not heal people indiscriminately. O n e person in a crowd was healed; many who were also sick in body or soul, were not. And that comes from the fact that in order to receive the grace of God, so that it acts in us unto the healing of soul, or body, or both, we m u s t b e o p e n t o G o d, not to the healing: to God... Illness is something which we so often wish to banish from our experience not only because it hampers our live, not only because it is accompanied by pain, but also – I suspect even more – because it reminds us of our frailty; it speaks to us and says, ‘Beware! You are mortal. Your body at this moment speaks to you and says, You have n o power to restore me to health; you can do nothing; I may die out on you; I may decay, and it will be the end of you earthly life...’ Isn’t it the main reason why we fight for health, we pray for health? And yet, if t h a t is the way in which we ask God to heal us, to restore us to wholeness, we are only asking to be allowed to f o r g e t that we are mortal instead of being reminded, indeed quickened by this thought, realising that days pass, that time goes short, and that we m u s t , if we want to attain to the full stature to which we are called on earth, we m u s t m a k e h a s t e to shake off all that within us is a power of death; because illness and death are not only conditioned by exterior reasons; there are within us resentments, bitterness, hatred, greed – so many other things which kill in us the quickness of the spirit and prevent us from living n o w, already now, eternal life; that eternal life which is just life in a true sense of the word, life in its fullness...
What can we do then? We must ask ourselves attentive questions; and we come to God asking to heal us, we must first prepare ourselves to be healed. And to be healed means not only to be made whole in view of going back to the kind of life which we had before; it means to be whole in order to start a new life, as though we had become aware that we had died in the healing act of God; that all that was the old man in us, this body of corruption of which Paul speaks, the old man which must g o in order for the new man to live we must be prepared to become that new man through the death of the past in order to start anew: like Lazarus that was called out of the grave not to go back simply to what had been his life before, but having experienced something which is beyond uttering, to re-enter life on new terms.
And for us these terms are Christ, as Paul puts it: For me to live – is Christ... (someone sneezed, don’t hear)
Are we capable of receiving healing? Are we willing (?) to take upon ourselves responsibility of being made new in order to enter, again and again, into the world in which we live with a message of newness, to be light, to be salt, to be joy, to be hope, to be faith, to be love, to be surrender both to God (and to men).
Let us reflect on it, because we all are sick one way or another; we all are frail, all are weak, all are incapable of living to a full, even the life which is offered us on earth! L e t u s r e f l e c t on it, and become capable to open ourselves to God in such a way that He may work His miracle of healing, make us n e w, but in order for us to bring our newness, indeed God’s newness into the world in which we live. Amen.