Monday, February 5, 2024
Holy Ghost Church – 8:00am
1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13; Psalm 132:6-7, 8-10; Mark 6:53-56
It would have been truly awe-inspiring to witness Jesus healing the sick. The people who witnessed this clearly had never seen anything like it before. For those who were sick, or whose loved ones were sick, each healing would have had a powerful effect upon them and upon their whole family. Today, modern medicine, with its ability to treat so many illnesses, has somewhat lessened the fear and anxiety over getting sick.
It’s only natural that when we are sick, we desire an immediate diagnosis and treatment. Modern medicine, for the most part, does an excellent job of both. For example we have blood work, MRI’s and skilled doctors to diagnose our illnesses. We have treatments for them such as chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer, dialysis for kidney failure, as well as surgical replacements for failing joints.
We also have countless over the counter medications to diminish the symptoms of less serious illness. Most of us don’t think twice about taking something for a cold, for allergies or a headache. We might say that we have readily available cures for both mortal illnesses and for venial illnesses.
But what about our spiritual ailments? Do we also seek spiritual healing the moment we recognize we are in need of it? Are we as sensitive to the effects of our sins the same way we are aware of our physical ailments and diseases?
The spiritual healing of the forgiveness of our sins is of infinitely greater value than the healing of our physical diseases. Spiritual healing affects our soul for all eternity. The truth is that this far greater healing is available to us all at no expense and with immediate results. Our venial sins are cleansed every time we attend Mass and express our sorrow for them silently at the beginning of Mass during the Confitior. We are cleansed of our serious, mortal sins in the confessional.
In the Sacrament of Reconciliation, we are invited to “touch the tassel on his cloak,” so to speak, and be immediately healed of both our venial and our mortal sins. No extended chemotheratpy, no invasive surgery with weeks of recovery. We enter the confessional, state our sins and our sorrow for them, receive absolution, do our penance and we are healed! Our spiritual infirmities are immediately forgiven and forgotten! It’s truly incredible.
For this reason, we should have a much deeper desire to seek out Jesus in the confessional than the people of Jesus’ day had for his physical healing. And yet, too often we fail to recognize the symptoms of our spiritual illness. We ignore or delay receiving the priceless gift of God’s mercy and healing offered so freely to us in the Sacrament of Confession.
Reflect, today, upon the desire in the hearts of the people in today’s Gospel story. Think, especially, about those who were seriously ill and about their burning desire to come to Jesus for healing. Compare that desire in their hearts to the desire, or lack of desire, in our own heart to run to our Lord for the spiritual healing when we need it.
Seek to foster a greater desire to recognize your need for this healing, especially as it is so accessible to us in the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
God bless you.