Healed! Forever!Fr. Barnabas Powell
A dear priest friend of mine is on pilgrimage to the Holy Land and other holy sites in the area. Recently he and his fellow pilgrims came to the final resting place of Lazarus, the man the Lord raised from the dead. And that got me started thinking about Lazarus and his miraculous healing and then what followed.
You see, Lazarus died a second time and we have his relics with us to this day. Yep, two funerals. As an aside, it is said that the only time Lazarus really smiled after his own resurrection from the dead was when he saw a thief stealing a clay pot. It is reported that he smiled and said “Look, clay stealing clay.”
It is amazing in this day and age of materialism and “individualism” that the religious notion of physical healing still continues to be a focus. But it’s also true of medical science as well. We want to be healed, but we want this healing to be instantaneous, miraculous, and cost us nothing. Doesn’t that say something about us? We want salvation to be the same – Instant, painless, and free.
In today’s Gospel Lesson Jesus does some amazing things but He teaches truths even more amazing. You know this passage as the Beatitudes.
Look at Matthew 4:23-25;5:1-13. The passage starts out saying Jesus is doing three activities throughout the area. He is Teaching, Preaching the “gospel of the kingdom” (significant), and “healing every disease and every infirmity.” No wonder His fame spread like wildfire through this part of the world! Someone Who does this is certainly going to get people’s attention.
But think about it, every person the Lord healed physically eventually died, just like Lazarus. Every person whose ailment was healed still faced the mortality of their physical body.
That’s why the Lord went on to give us the spiritual healing treasures of these divine Beatitudes. He goes on to reveal to us that physical healing is one thing, but a true and eternal healing of our inner lives is the healing that lasts forever! Become what He says of you in this wonderful list of virtues and faithfulness and you will not only gain an inner salvation, but even your physical body will be caught up in His eternal life at the Resurrection of the dead. Now that’s what I call being Healed! Forever!
Today, why not abandon the narcissistic notion of “Please make my boo boo go away” for the long term joys of a life disciplined and shaped by eternal healing that penetrates to the deepest need of your soul? Why not allow the power of the Holy Spirit to so transform your inner life that your outer life reflects the change inside you? Allow the wisdom of the Faith to reveal you to the world as “Blessed” because of your priorities, choices, and love. This is the only path that truly leads to being Healed! Forever!