13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Before this pandemic, so many people would flock to wherever there is so-called “healing Mass.” I am sure people would do the same once there is already “herd immunity.” So many people are in need of healing. I will go back to this point…
We heard in today’s gospel reading the story about the healing of the woman with hemorrhages. Jesus heals this woman because, in his eyes, her action in reaching out and touching his clothes is a supreme act of faith and trust in him. He identifies the real source of her healing – he says: “Your faith has saved you.”
Jesus is aware of the various illnesses afflicting people. The Gospels show him fighting all forms of sickness. sickness of the soul: guilt, doubt, unbelief, worry, fear, anxiety, despair; sickness of the body: blindness, leprosy, paralysis, and physical handicaps.
In the Gospel according to St. Matthew (15:30) we are told: “Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them.” The people brought the sick and the wounded to Jesus and laid them at his feet, trusting that his presence and touch would bring them a better-quality life.
Actually, all of us are in need of healing. We are invited to bring to God what is wounded in us, and ask for restoration and healing. So let us ask: What is there within my life that I need to bring to the feet of Jesus for healing? What personal, physical, and spiritual healing do I need to ask from God?
Again, we all need some sort of healing. We are afflicted with various diseases, illnesses, and handicaps, that is why we need physical healing. We are troubled by traumatic experiences and painful memories, that is why we need psychological healing. We are burdened with worries, fears, and anxieties, that is why we need mental and emotional healing. We suffer from the effects of sin or sinful ways of living, that is why we need spiritual healing.
It is important to emphasize the kind of healing that we should ask for. Charles Farr, a spiritual writer, has this to say: “Healing is any sign of God’s kingdom in a person’s life – not necessarily an answer to every medical or physical need.” “Healing in Scripture does not refer to becoming as you were; it is becoming what you should be.” This is the kind of healing we must pray for.
Our basis for healing must not only be physical recovery or recuperation. Rather, true healing must be experienced as genuine conversion and full reconciliation with God. And we can only say that we are healed when we have established a deeper, intimate, personal relationship with God – because we have become more prayerful and more committed to follow God’s will. We know that we have experienced God’s healing, not because we have become as we were, but we have become what we should be. We have become the best persons that God intends us to be.
Physical healing alone should never be the focal point of our worship. Healing of all kinds should be the result of the Holy Spirit’s touch on the lives of hurting people – wounded and broken. For any pain and suffering in our lives today, God is still the only medicine.
I invite you now to pray with me this prayer for healing: Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Look upon me with eyes of mercy. May Your healing hand rest upon me. May Your life-giving powers flow into every cell of my body and into the depths of my soul, cleansing, purifying, restoring me to wholeness and strength for service in Your Kingdom. Touch gently this life which You have created; touch my soul with Your compassion and may I show it to others; touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all; touch my mind with Your wisdom and may my mouth always proclaim Your praise. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Amen.