Praying For a Healing


Thursday of the Fifth Week in Ordinary Time

Our Lady of Lourdes

World Day of the Sick

1 Kings 11: 4-13; Mark 7: 24-30

Dc. Larry Brockman

There’s one thing all Christians seem to have in common:  A belief that God can heal us, even in seemingly hopeless situations.  And so, even the least devout of Christians, when faced with the need for a healing, especially a healing in seemingly hopeless situations, will pray to God, asking for a healing.   

This morning we hear of such a healing.  There are a few things worth noting about this story.  First, the woman is not one of the “believers”.  She is not amongst God’s chosen people- she is a foreigner.  And so, she does not believe in the details of the Jewish religion; and in fact, probably wasn’t even familiar with them.  So, what is it about her “faith” that stands out?  Well, she humbles herself at Jesus’ feet, and basically admits that she is not one of the believers.  She then goes on to say that she is willing “to take the scraps”.  In other words, she believes that Jesus scraps will be enough, just his glancing attention is enough.  This is not a faith which involves knowledge of the facts.  This is true faith, a faith in the heart.  And that is the kind of faith that Jesus is looking for, a trusting, faith in the heart, that whatever God’s will is, that will be enough.   

Second, notice that this is not a physical healing.  Rather, it is a spiritual healing- a demon is cast out.  I think that this is something all of us need to understand about healing.  We often times want a healing to conform to our expectations; more than likely, that is a physical healing.  Sometimes, our prayers for a physical healing are answered.  But spiritual healings are what really counts.  If we can be at peace in our hearts, because our spirits are healed, then we can face whatever our ailments are.  After all, the ultimate measure of our health doesn’t relate to our bodies, but rather, it is the health of our souls because it is our souls that we take into eternity.   

And third, notice that the healing was done at a distance- Jesus did not even go to the site.  So, the woman had to go away and trust that Jesus had done what he said.  All too often, we want what we pray for right now, and we want it to unfold in front of us.  But God’s healing power comes at His own pace, not ours; and it comes in His way; not ours.  The manifestation of the healing may be at a different time and in a different way than we are expecting it.  It may be remote, like the healing was in this story.   

Today, February 11, was designated by Pope John Paul II as the World Day of the Sick each year.  It is also the feast of Our Lady of Lourdes- and of course, Lourdes is the site of many miraculous healings.  So, let us take this opportunity to really pray for the Sick.  In the spirit of the Syro-Phoenician Woman, with true faith.  And God’s power will work for us- to bring us the Spiritual healing we need. 

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