All Christians are called by God to be part of the healing ministry. We may be shocked by the idea that God will use us for healing. But it is not just for the religious and medical professions. God wants everyone to work for the healing of others.
Our problem is that our understanding of healing is so limited. We think mostly in terms of physical healing and miracles. We think that we aren’t holy enough to perform miracles. The reality is that there are many different kinds of healing.
Father DeGrandis, a priest who travels the country teaching about healing, claims there are five different kinds of healings. These are spiritual, emotional, intellectual, relational and physical. We may not feel qualified to lay hands on people and ask God to heal them physically and in many cases we don’t need to because there are doctors who can heal using the methods of modern medicine.
But who is there to heal the wounds of divisiveness and bitterness, of anger, dissension and hostility that exist right around us? Who else is in the right place to bring Christ’s love into the situation? So often we encounter situations at school, work, and church, in the community or in our families infected with negativity, anger and division.
I heard a message this Memorial Day by the Reverend Steve Brown. He talked about the book of Esther and Mordecai’s belief that God had placed Esther in her role as queen”for such a time as this”. Isn’t it also true that God has placed us in our jobs, communities, parishes and families for such a time as this so that we may work for reconciliation; so that we could work for the healing of relationships?
All of us are called to work for healing, to do what we can to restore relationships and promote unity. We are called to work for reconciliation wherever it is needed. We may not be able to do much about the situation in the Mid East but we are called to do what we can where we are. Reconciliation may be needed among our families, friends, parish or community. Too many of our parishes and communities are infected with negativity and gossip.
We need to remember that Jesus prayed that we would be one. We need to remember that Jesus died for the souls on both sides of any conflict. We need to remember that Jesus commanded us to love one another. We need to remember that our first loyalty is to the service of God.
We serve God. He placed us where we are for a reason and promoting Christian love and unity is part of that reason. We are to reach out with love to others. We are to serve as His hands and feet right where we are. That means we do what we can to promote the healing of relationships even if all we can do is pray.
Prayer is a vital part of our effort to heal. We need to pray for God’s wisdom to know what to say. We need to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit so we may recognize the times we are called to act and the times we are called to be silent. We need to continually pray for others to be open to the power of the Holy Spirit and to reconciliation. We need to pray for everyone involved in the situation.
Then we need to look at ourselves and what we say to make sure we aren’t contributing to the negativity. After that we can look for the opportunity to speak of love and forgiveness, to remind people of our responsibility to share the love God has given us, even to share that love with difficult people.
The biggest thing is that we need to be continually aware of our responsibility to bring healing to every situation we can. This is something we have to consciously work out. We can’t leave it to others. We have to do whatever we can in any situation we face even if all we feel we can do is pray.
This is true for all of the different kinds of healing Father DeGrandis talks about. We are called to work for healing in all situations whether it is intellectual, spiritual, emotional, relational or physical. So often we are quick to condemn pro-choice politicians when we are called to pray for their spiritual and intellectual healing. We can pray for them and others while strongly disagreeing with them. Too often we disagree and forget to pray for their spiritual healing.
How different would the world be if all Christians prayed and worked for healing rather than simply condemning?
Lord, grant me the courage, wisdom and grace I need to work for healing. Help me to pray for healing rather than simply condemning. Open our hearts to the power of your love to bring reconciliation to our parishes, communities and families. Amen