Thursday, November 29, 2012

Talk on Healing given by Br. Francis D’Souza on 26th November 2012


We are called to be givers. We are called to minister to others by becoming instruments of healing rather than being on the receiving end always.

What was the original plan of God?  In the Old Testament God the Father said in Jeremiah 29:11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. In the New Testament the Son builds and affairs the plan in John 10:10b I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.  God wants us to be happy but we are not due to various reasons.  We must be in a possession of a hearing, knowing, listening, and practicing faith. 
There are 41 miracles listed in the Bible the purpose of these miracles is to build our faith, to encourage us to go the One who is our Deliverer, to Whom nothing is impossible.  Who as C.S. Lewis said can write straight with our crooked lines.  Who can draw good from evil.  

Jesus can always be trusted to come to us as he did when he descended from the mountain after praying. Matthew 9:36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. We have to cultivate the heart of Christ.  We too must be compassionate we must make time to listen to each other and make ourselves available as Jesus did.


Matthew 8:5-34

In Matthew 8:5 a remarkable statement made by the Roman Centurion makes an impression on Jesus and draws his praise and admiration.  This pagan and foreigner has an expectant faith which is not based on a feeling but in his belief in the power of Jesus.  Jesus is taken up by this man’s faith, praises it, responds to it and rewards it saying, “What you believe will happen.”

Although the Centurion was an important official he was humble.  He had faith.  He got it right when he came before Jesus to plead for the healing of his servant.

Jesus the healer has said in Mark 16:18-20 that when He commissions his disciples
18they will pick up snakes in their hands, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.’  19 So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and proclaimed the good news everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by the signs that accompanied it.
Jesus assures us that He will minister through us using us as his instruments.


Matthew 9:20 identifies this woman as, “a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years.” Mark 5:25 identifies her as “a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years.” Luke 8:43 “a woman having an issue of blood twelve years” Luke goes on to tell us that she had spent all her money on physicians and they could do nothing to heal her.
This unnamed Jewish woman has been suffering for twelve years.  Her illness has robbed her not only of her health physically but we are told in the Gospel of St. Luke that she had spent all she had on physicians and still remained sick. There were many things working against her that day.  Not only was there such a large crowd that she had to literally push her way through, her disease rendered her unclean.  According the law of Moses she had to be separated from her family because she was unclean but anyone who came in contact with her too would become ritually unclean.  So had they known of her condition they would have been extremely angry with her.
However far greater than her fear was her quiet desperation at her condition.  Jesus was her last hope. Her faith in his power to heal her became the propelling and motivating factor to somehow meet Jesus. Also worth noting is her humility. All she wanted was to get close enough to him so she could touch him without drawing attention to herself.  She believed that all she needed to do was to get close enough, touch him, even his garment would do and she would be healed.  Nobody need know anything. She inched her way through the crowds who were pressing around Him on every side, and the disciples who had formed a human shield around him and she reached out a trembling hand and touched the edge of his garment. In an instant she was healed.  She knew it and so did He.  Jesus felt power go out of Him. Her faith was rewarded. When we reach out in faith our touch too will have the ability to draw the power of Christ into us.  However it is not enough to just accept our healing without any acknowledgement and without testifying publicly to what God has done for us.  The woman was made to identify herself, testify what the Lord had done for her and God praised her publicly, attributed her healing to her faith and rewarded her with the gift of peace. Our testimony glorifies God.  Faith can only be proved when it is tested.

3rd Miracle    

Mark 2:1-12

In this miracle compassion is the motivating factor that compels the friends of the paralytic to bring him to Jesus.  They believe in faith that  Jesus can cure him so they carry him to the house where Jesus is preaching.  The house is so heavily crowded they cannot get the man through so they climbed to the roof, made a hole in it and let their friend down before Jesus.  Once again Jesus rewards the faith of the friends.  This time however he first forgives the sins of the paralytic.  We must remember that there is an order to the prayer for healing. 

Psalm 32:3 - 5 have this to say,
3 While I kept silence, my body wasted away
   through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night your hand was heavy upon me;
   my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you,
   and I did not hide my iniquity;
I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’,
   and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Confession results in healing this is why it is also called a Sacrament of Healing.  If sin is present it blocks the power of healing.  What is spiritual must come before what is physical as we see in 

2 Chronicles 7:14 
14if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

We who are praying for the healing of those we love must do so humbly and patiently.  Waiting on the Lord who in his perfect time will grant all we desire in accordance with his will.

James 5:14-1
  14Are any among you sick? They should call for the elders of the church and have them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15The prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise them up; and anyone who has committed sins will be forgiven.

4th Miracle
The Canaanite Woman’s Faith

Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus is in the district of Tyre and Sidon when a Canaanite woman, a foreigner from that region came to see him crying loudly, ‘Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.’ Strangely Jesus does not answer her which is quite unlike him.  He normally is quick to respond to a cry for help. His disciples ask him to send her away so he answered her saying, ‘I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.’ But she was desperate.  Jesus is the only one who can help her and she was not proud.  She came and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, help me.’ Again he responded in a manner that was intended to put her off. He said, ‘It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.’ She did not take offence rather she turned the tables neatly on him by saying, ‘Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.’ Jesus had a lesson to teach us and that is why he led the woman to make a confession of her faith in him and as always Jesus never disappoints those who come to him in faith.  He answered her, ‘Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.’ And her daughter was healed instantly.
Jesus says to the woman that the bread belongs to the children.  We call God Father and so we have a right to the bread that God gives.  It is our right to expect healing.  We ought not panic, or be perturbed and run helter-skelter here and there looking for healing conventions.  The woman had great faith and so her daughter was healed in an instant.  She was confident that He would do for her as she asked. 

Our trust in Jesus is a gift given to us by him as John 14:12 assures us, “Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father.”
5th Miracle   
The Paralytic at the Pool of Bethzatha
John 5:5-9
In this miracle we see a man we has been ill for thirty eight years.  Did he honestly want to be healed or did he prefer being an invalid?  No demands would be made of him and he could beg for a living. 
Illness can be of different types – body, mind or spirit.  We can have emotional wounds that make us sick.  Fear, anger, guilt, disappointments, anguish, anxiety etc.  All these could cause deep emotional, physical or psychological illness.  Some people use their illness as a crutch they prefer to be an object of pity to others.
In this miracle the man is just lying there and Jesus approaches him.  But Jesus is the perfect gentleman and so will not impose Himself.  He seeks, he knocks and he asks.  What is our response.  God will never overlook, override or overcome our desire.  We have to desire healing, wholeness and well being.  Once we have faced the situation we are called to act as verse 8 tells us.  Jesus commands him to, ‘Stand up, take your mat and walk.’  Faith, hope desire and enthusiasm were all dead in this paralytic to Jesus takes the initiative and approaches him.  God longs for us to be healthy in every area of our being.  He comes in search of us.  He meets us where we are and he invites us to desire healing so we can become all that he intends us to be.
Jeremiah 30:17 assures us

17 For I will restore health to you,
   and your wounds I will heal,
   says the Lord,
   because they have called you an outcast:
   ‘It is Zion; no one cares for her!’ 

Ezekiel 36:26 says
26A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.


We pray the prayer of the Centurion at every celebration of the Holy Mass, 
“Lord I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, say but the word and my soul shall be healed.”  The Holy Mass has the power to heal us. “

Are we prepared to do the simple things with faith and believe.  We must be transformed at every Eucharist.  Each time we celebrate the sacred mysteries we ought to grow more in the image and likeness of Jesus. 
We cannot only observe the exterior form of worship without believing, entering, receiving and acknowledging its power to transform us from within. As 2 Timothy 3:5 reminds us we ought not to be guilty of, 5holding to the outward form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid them! 

At every Eucharistic Celebration that we attend we ought to come before the Lord believing that his word has the power to do what the Psalmist says it is able to in 

Psalm 107:20
20 he sent out his word and healed them,
   and delivered them from destruction.

Surrender is another important element that is required of us.  We must be prepared to come to Jesus with the attitude of complete surrender believing that he not only can heal but that he desires to heal.
And once we are healed we must not forget to render thanks as Mark 11:24 reminds us:

24So I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

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