Epistle: Galatians 5. 25-26; 6. 1-10. Gospel: St. Luke 7. 11-16
Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the Gospels we meet Christ the physician. Do we seek him as physician
of our bodies only? Has he become for us a mere earthly Messiah?
Christ's compassion toward the sick and his many healings of every kind
of infirmity are a resplendent sign that :God has visited his people" (Lk
7:16; cf. Mt 4:24) and that the Kingdom of God is close at hand. Jesus
has the power not only to heal, but also to forgive sins; (Cf. Mk 2: 5-12)
he has come to heal the whole man, soul and body; he is the physician the
sick have need of. (Cf. Mk 2:17) His compassion toward all who suffer goes
so far that he identifies himself with them: "I was sick and you visited
me." (Mt 25:36) His preferential love for the sick has not ceased through
the centuries to draw the very special attention of Christians toward all
those who suffer in body and soul. It is the source of tireless efforts
to comfort them. (CCC 1503)
While the Church continues Christ's ministry to the sick in many forms,
such as hospitals and hospices for the dying, these works never take first
place ahead of the ministry of Christ to forgive. Such is the reason that
in the sacrament of anointing of the sick, the priest offers first the
opportunity for confession to the ill or dying.
Just as he fled from those who sought to carry him off to make him king,
so too, those who seek Christ in prayer for succor only from their earthly
sufferings miss his true coming as Yeshua, "he who saves his people from
their sins". Our greatest disease and suffering is death, brought into
the world by sin. Do we seek him in prayer first for forgiveness? Do we
humbly face our sins and seek contrition and confession? This is first
and greatest meaning of "go and sin no more, your faith has healed you."
I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we
"meet Christ in the liturgy",
- Father Cusick
(See also CCC 994)
Used with the permission of Fr. Cusick from his website.