Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The desire for healing

     This morning's Gospel reading from Mark for this Tuesday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time tells us of the petition of Jairus, the synagogue official, on behalf of his daughter of twelve who was ill and the subsequent immediate response of Jesus to bring healing - and ultimately, because of her untimely death, the very restoration of life itself - to this child of God.  Not only did he restore her to life, but entrusted her continued care (including her hunger) to those who loved her.  And on the way we hear of the encounter of Jesus with the woman who suffered greatly from hemorrhages for twelve years and whose need, and more importantly faith, promoted her to approach Jesus.  If I but touch his clothes, she thought.  Power went forth from him and she was made whole.  He said "Daughter, your faith has saved you.  Go in peace and be cured of your affliction."

     And this reading falls upon the popular feast of Saint Blaise, a bishop and martyr for the faith, who tradition says has a special affinity to intercede before the Lord for healing of ailments of the throat, in particular.  Our tradition of the sacramental blessing of throats on this day is legendary, and people come seeking that blessing and the healing that it offers in their lives.  I shared that blessing of throats during Mass this morning.

     On the first Wednesday of each month we in our parish celebrate the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick immediately following Mass.  We usually get more than the regular morning Mass crew at that Mass, seeking the healing love of Christ in their lives through the intercession and ministry of the Church.

     People are hurting today - physically, emotionally and spiritually.  The need to come before the Lord and ask for health, to seek restoration and to receive love is greater than ever.  The Church is not to be seen as a dispenser of miracles as much as, as Pope Francis has aid, a field hospital that dispenses God's mercy and love.  The healing come not from our efforts but rather through the faith of those who hear and experience that love of God by means of our ministry and example. 

       So, on this feast of Saint Blaise, we pray:

Through the intercession of Saint Blaise,
Bishop and Martyr,
may you be delivered of every ailment
of the throat and body,
and other evil.
in the Name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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