After making the crossing to the other side of the sea, Jesus and his disciples came to land at Gennesaret and tied up there. As they were leaving the boat, people immediately recognized him. They scurried about the surrounding country and began to bring in the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. Whatever villages or towns or countryside he entered, they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged him that they might touch only the tassel on his cloak; and as many as touched it were healed.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
(a couple’s perspective)
“Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.” Andy, the main character in the movie, Shawshank Redemption, says this towards the end of the film to his good friend, Red. When reading this gospel passage, I think about the power of hope and its ability to motivate individuals to engage in action against seemingly insurmountable odds. People were coming to Jesus from everywhere because they hoped that his healing would extend to themselves and their loved ones!
Can you imagine what you would do, if you hoped for healing and someone you loved was sick? I can imagine doing that in a heartbeat, if my husband, children or members of my immediate family needed healing!
But what about me? Do I put as much effort into asking for healing for myself? I feel this is a growing edge for me and one that I need to work at harder. Thankfully, I have hope that Jesus is ready to meet me, whenever and wherever I am!
I teach health care ethics to nursing students at University of Detroit Mercy. One of the topics we discuss is the difference between “caring” and “healing.” When physical healing is not possible due to a patient’s condition, the health care professionals’ work is not done. Patients can always be cared for and assisted in their quest for meaning and consolation during this most challenging time at the end of life.
By caring for patients they are, in some way, healed—their bodies are quickly diminishing but their spirits can transcend the pathology of their physical selves and they can accept hope and feel loved. This is, in many ways, the job of all Christians—to help “heal” our brothers and sisters through a kind word, a gentle hug, or a compassionate gesture. In this way we too can carry on Jesus’ healing ministry.
For what ailment or painful situation might you want to ask Jesus’ healing? Who or what offers healing when you need it most?
—Carrie and David Nantais live in the city of Detroit with their two sons, Liam (almost 4 years) and Theo (5 ½ months). They are both at the University of Detroit Mercy—David as Director of University Ministry and Carrie as a PhD student in Clinical Psychology. They have been married for 5 ½ years. http://www.udmercy.edu/ministry/index.htm
Lord, we place our hope in your promise to be at work in our lives today. We expect your presence in the details of the challenges, fears, and “what if” questions of our lives. And though we may question where you are, we believe that you are active and good will come to us.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team