Monday, May 1, 2017

Healing is for Believing

Many times we approach God requesting His assistance in sort level of healing. It might be an infant with an ear infection, or a grandparent with a heart condition. It could be our spouse suffering with cancer, or our own affliction. The cause of the suffering can really be anything. It doesn’t even have to be physical illness, although that is my focus today. The issue at hand today is, “Why ask for healing” from God?
Consider today’s Gospel Reading: John 4:46-54 (RSV) - At that time, there was an official whose son was ill. When he heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went and begged him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. Jesus therefore said to him, "Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe." The official said to him, "Sir, come down before my child dies." Jesus said to him, "Go; your son will live." The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went his way. As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was living. So he asked them the hour when he began to mend, and they said to him, "Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him." The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, "Your son will live"; and he himself believed, and all his household. This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.
In truth God allows many more to die from various illnesses than He chooses to perform miracle healings. While I have been privileged to witness what I would categorize as a miracle healing on more than one occasion, I have celebrated many more funerals than miracles. Actually, even the miracles eventually die. So why ask for miracles?

Most ask for miracles for the simple fact they want to end suffering. We don’t like seeing our family members struggle, and we don’t want to imagine ourselves without our loved ones. If we are being honest with ourselves, our desire for a miracle healing is selfish. In the vast majority of the cases, all that I have watched, we are already believers, which is why we ask for the miracle in the place.

In the context of today’s Gospel reading, maybe we should take a step back and reflect. Jesus said, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” Do you already believe in God? Then you don’t need miracles. A better focus for your prayer life during an illness would be for repentance and peace, both for yourself, and the one who is suffering. When you do pray for healing, which we all do, pray your loved one (or you) has time for repentance before death.

We spend hours in Church during Holy Week being reminded that God will return at any time, and that we are supposed to be prepared for Him. Just because we turned the lights on in the Church doesn’t mean the message isn’t still the same. Healing is for believing. 

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