For the Journey

In praying this week with the pictures of Jesus curing people, we are offered opportunities to reflect on how his curing us has taken hold in the whole of our lives. It is too simplistic to see Jesus only as a physical healer. Physical well being is not the definitive sign of God’s loving care or presence.

When we consider Jesus’ healing of a person in the Gospels, watch the afterness, the “What then?” of the encounter. Jesus sends the person from some inner condition to the outer world and relationships around him or her. The most basic energy of God’s will as expressed in the life and words of Jesus is, “I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” Being physically healed is a sign of being freed from not really having life to the full.

What we watch and pray with this week is the process of Jesus’ bringing this world to life in him and how each of us is meant to come to life for this world. The Spiritual Exercises are a gift from God given to us through the struggles of Ignatius to free himself from the inner diseases so that he might seek and do the will of God in living outwardly alive.

The will of God is not a mystical needle in a cosmic haystack for which we can spend our lives searching. That would not be a loving God who would play with us like that. His will is to love us and bring us to full life. Love, by its very nature, urges revelation. It is God’s will that we trust that what we faithfully choose to do. For our part, we struggle, like Ignatius, to be honest about those areas of our lives that are not alive, which are diseased and need the healing touch of Jesus. This is why we take such long lingering views of Jesus bringing others to life and this life includes the “What next?” the follow-up, the follow-through, the following.

In Christ there is the freeing from and the freeing for, the healing from and the healing for. Jesus heals not for the personal contentment of the man or woman of faith but rather for the personal completion that is received in joining his mission of bringing others to life. The will of God is that each of us be healed from not believing in God’s love for us and for this world. Our blindness, our paralysis, our being deaf, our being dead, are all embraced by Christ, and he takes away our good excuses that once confined and defined us. He is sent to touch us and then send us to embrace this bent world.

In praying this week, we pray with the many calls of those who were in such need for his healing. We pray with the many calls he offers us to go out, go beyond, and go into the world around us. Is there a call from you and to you in there?

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