Tuesday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time, September 10
May the Power and Love Which We Find within Our Faith Guide Us in Our Efforts to Reach Out and Help Others in Their Needs, Just As the Power of Jesus’ Love Heals Us in Ours.
We read in today’s Gospel, “…power came forth from him and healed them all.”
It must have been an amazing event for the people of Jesus’ day to be able to reach out and touch Him, to feel the awesomeness of His Presence, to hear and reflect upon His teachings and be healed of their ailments!
For those of us reading this today who are getting on in years (such as myself), ailments have become a reality of life for us. And I am no exception. Each morning when I get out of bed, my artificial joints never fail to remind me that I am no longer a “young puppy.” It takes a while before the limbs are warmed up enough, so that I can begin to feel human once again. And I have other issues which affect me physically, one which requires surgery in the near future.
And for those of you who are still young, time never stands still and your day will most assuredly also arrive, when you, too, will begin to feel the aches and pains of the normal aging process!
And yet, when I look at the evening news and witness the suffering that so many people have to endure – whether it is the result of violence in war-torn areas of the world or becoming a victim to terrorism, suffering resulting from disease and malnutrition in many countries, when someone is diagnosed with terminal cancer, or when a debilitating stroke or heart attack overwhelms the well-being of an individual, or a loved one is beginning to travel down the path of dementia or Alzheimer’s –
– I realize that the crosses which I am bearing are nothing compared to what others are presently experiencing, especially those who are presently suffering from the effects of recent hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and the raging fires in different places throughout the world.
Human suffering comes in all sorts of “sizes, shapes and colors”, and physical suffering is only one form of the cross which we are called to bear at times. There are two different forms of spiritual suffering: one which we are all familiar with – sin. Sin is that ailment, that disease of the soul which separates us from God’s Loving Presence in our lives.
And in Paul’s Letter to the Colossians today, he issues a warning that the faithful are to remain rooted in Christ, faithful to the Truth which they were taught –
“See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ” – words which could very well apply to the seductions which have weakened and undermined the faith of many of God’s children today, through the evils of moral and theological relativism.
The other form of spiritual suffering, a sinless suffering, is an experience which some of the saints had endured – a loneliness, an emptiness, a “dark night of the soul”, wherein they felt separated from their God, separated from feeling His consoling Love.
And I am sure that there are people living today, good and righteous people, who find themselves experiencing this “dark night of the soul” in their daily lives, feeling lonely, feeling lost in their spiritual anguish.
In reality, God was and is always near them, strengthening them, inviting them to share, in a very personal way, His own Passion – especially the loneliness and the dark moment of Jesus’ Soul when He prayed at night in the Garden of Gethsemane and when He hung upon His Cross in His agony of abandonment.
And there are two other forms of suffering which are somewhat interrelated – emotional and psychological sufferings. Do we not carry this cross, endure this form of suffering when we grieve the loss of a loved one?
In addition, as we reflect upon additional sufferings, do not those who have been emotionally scarred or physically abused carry a cross which can eat away at the very fabric of their own desire for inner peace and happiness?
Each and every day of the week, there are many good people who reach out to the mentally and physically challenged – those who are prisoners of their own minds and bodies due to no fault of their own.
Some of them have stories which, if they should desire to share them with us, would wrench our hearts at what they have endured and the abuses some have received from people who have no respect for another person’s human dignity, no respect for another person’s sexual privacy.
In spite of what we oftentimes hear in the news, there are many good people in our society today, God-fearing people, who reach out and help the handicapped in their needs, but there are others who have caused and left horrific emotional and psychological scars in the minds, hearts and souls of those who cannot defend themselves.
A few years ago, as I was ministering at the time in a facility where the physically and mentally challenged could socialize and also receive physical therapy, there was one young woman, an adult woman, a quadriplegic who could barely speak, struggling to relate to me a sexual abuse which she had endured many years earlier, and which she had kept bottled up inside of herself for most of her life, fearful of ever exposing what she mistakenly considered to be her shame.
By the grace of God, she had come to a decision to share this horrific event with me, an event which had left some very deep emotional scars.
On the surface, she had always showed a deep love for God, and you could see this love in her childlike demeanor. But there was this very real nightmare which was deeply tucked away in the recesses of her past memories.
There was a series of events which took place – a Gospel Reading, a sharing by another patient, all which became as a key, unlocking the door to her long-buried memories.
I believe it was God’s Love for her which guided me to select a particular Scripture passage that day, along with words which the Spirit had guided me to use to explain this passage to the patients, and a particular sharing by others – all which helped to begin the process of healing for her, a healing which was so long overdue.
So, when we think about the sufferings which others are enduring in this world, their crosses allow us to begin to reflect upon the fact that our own discomforts are really not so bad after all!
Scripture tells us today that “Everyone in the crowd sought to touch” Jesus, and “power came forth from him and healed them all.” And our psalmist reminds us that “The LORD is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.”
It is my heartfelt prayer that no matter what our state in life may be – no matter what our ethnicity, creed or religious persuasion may be – each of us may always reach out to the Jesus who heals, to the Jesus who loves, to the Jesus who suffered and died for you and me – so that we may, one day, have life and have it to the fullest in His Most Holy Name!
And may the power and love, which we find within our faith, guide us in our efforts to reach out and help others in their needs, just as the power of Jesus’ Love heals us in ours – always remembering the words our Lord once spoke to His disciples, and to each of us –
“I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people…came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured.” (Luke 6:17b, 18)
- “Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.” (Luke 6:19)
- “So, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in him, rooted in him and built upon him and established in the faith as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2:6-7)
- “See to it that no one captivate you with an empty, seductive philosophy according to human tradition, according to the elemental powers of the world and not according to Christ.” (Colossians 2:8)
- “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be firm, steadfast, always fully devoted to the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
- “Children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.” (1 John 3:18)
- “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
- “…always seek what is good both for each other and for all.” (1 Thessalonians 5:15b)
- “The LORD is good to all, compassionate toward all his works. All your works give you thanks, LORD and your faithful bless you.” (Psalm 145:9-10)
- “I have given you a model to follow, so that as I have done for you, you should also do.” (John 13:15)
Prayer for the Day
“Eternal and Most Loving Father,
I submit my entire self to Your holy will.
All that I am today, transform me into Your servant;
living Your Truth amongst my brothers and sisters.
“Thank You for imbuing me with Your Holy Spirit,
who guides me to live a life of righteousness,
enabling me to be all that You desire me to be,
so that I may give my best in service to Your children.
“Forgive me for my past failures,
rejecting the image of Christ in those around me.
In selfishness, I held back Your Love
and fell short in living the virtue of charity.
“Fill my heart with humility,
so that I may always fulfill Your will,
imitating the life of Your Son, Jesus,
giving love without counting the cost.
“In Jesus’ Name, I pray for this grace
for the glory of Your Divine Majesty,
in the Presence of the Holy Spirit,
and for the well-being of my soul for all eternity. Amen.”Anonymous