The great missionary physician, Dr. Albert Schweitzer, said: “Each patient carries his own doctor inside himself. Patients come to the physicians not knowing this truth. We are best when we give the “doctor who resides within each patient a chance to work.” Are you able to give opportunity for the “doctor who resides” within you to work? Here is a simple self-administered test from a study by Dr. Carl Simonton. The answers to these questions are simple, yes or no. The questions are the following: Do you have a tendency to hold resentment? Yes or no? Would you rather carry a grudge than forgiveness? Yes or no? Would you rather cry in self-pity than invite a friend out for dinner? Yes or no? Do you have problems in developing and maintaining long-term relationships? Yes or no? Do you have a low self-image? Yes, or no? If your answers are more “yeses,” according to Dr. Simonton’s test, you are not giving the “doctor who resides within you” a chance to work. Yes, means you are most vulnerable to illness, and it brings us closer to death and destruction.
“Jesus shows God’s marvelous generosity by giving the recipients life and salvation in addition to physical healing…”
The first reading, from the Book of Wisdom (1: 13-15, 2: 23-24), tells us that life and health is a gift from God. However, it is the work of Satan that produced illness and death. The author is also referring to a kind of death which is the eternal separation from God as the result of sin. When we sin, we cooperate with the devil’s plan for our death and destruction. This reading also suggests that the goal of our lives on earth is to know, to love, and to serve God here on earth, with perfect health in body and soul. The responsorial Psalm (Ps 30) celebrates Christ’s victory over death. The second reading from St. Paul’s letter the 2 Corinthians (8:7-15) requests the Christian community to show the same kind of kindness, compassion, and generosity to those starving and suffering Jewish brothers and sisters in Jerusalem as Jesus showed to those who came to him for healing. The generosity of Jesus is the primary emphasis of this weekend’s liturgy. St. Paul describes Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection as “the gracious act of our Lord’s generosity.” Today’s Gospel describes two of our Lord’s miracles, the healing of a woman who suffered from chronic bleeding and the restoration of life to Jairus’s daughter. These healings reveal Jesus as a generous, kind, and compassionate God Who wills that humanity should live life in its fullness and wholeness. These miracles were performed by Jesus as a reward for their faith and trust in Jesus. The Faith of the ruler may have been defective, and that of the woman may have been superstitious, yet Jesus rewarded the Faith by granting them health and life.
Today’s Gospel is often called the “Markan sandwich”, where one story is sandwiched between the beginning and end of another story. Here, we have an unusual combination of two miracles, healing and a restoration of life. The stories have several common features. The girl is 12 years old, and the woman had suffered for 12 years. Both are called “daughters,” and both need physical healing. The girl’s father is encouraged to have Faith, and the woman is praised for her Faith. The two stories illustrate Jesus’ power over both chronic illness and death. In each healing, Jesus shows God’s marvelous generosity by giving the recipients life and salvation in addition to physical healing.
We see in both these miracles of Jesus, His “Ministry of Presence.” He is generous with his time, talents, and blessings. Jesus was willing to travel with Jairus to his home to heal his daughter. After reaching home he was present to the family and brought her back to life. Jesus responded immediately to the woman with the hemorrhage and healed her instantly by being present. In both cases, Jesus brought new life into dark areas and situations of people’s life. It is that compassion of Jesus that urges us to reach out to the needy people and become generous with what we have. Our compassion finds its source and strength in the person of Jesus and his generosity. let us bring our bodily illnesses and spiritual wounds to Jesus for healing. We should pray for healing which will give us spiritual and physical health in every aspect of our lives, so that we may function in perfect harmony with the Will of God, with the people around us, and with the environment.
May God bless us all!
Fr. Tomy J. Puliyan, MSFS
“ Holiness and Happiness through Wellness and Wholeness!”