Our prayer group was blessed by the visit of a snow bird, Larry, who was involved in an ecumenical healing ministry in Michigan. Of course we took advantage of the opportunity to be prayed over. One thing I noticed about the way Larry prayed over people was that it was simple, direct and bold. “ In the name of Jesus I command this shoulder to be healed. “ No wishy-washy prayers, no rambling prayers and no doubt that God would answer his prayer and no suggestions to try anti-inflammatory medicine or to do less for God, he just prayed in faith that God would do ask he asked. Isn’t this what the early disciples did?
Isn’t this what we are called to do? We possess the same Holy Spirit as the early disciples. The Spirit we possess is not watered down but present in all His power and love which He passionately longs to pour out upon the world. We have not been given the Holy Spirit to keep for ourselves. We are called to reach out to the people around us and bring His love.
We live in a world desperately in need of God’s love and mercy. We are the people God has created and raised up as His instruments to bring His love to the world. So, why are we holding back? Why are we timid? Why do we lack confidence?
Is our mistake that we think in depends on us? Do we feel inadequate praying over someone? Jesus promised in John 14:12 that we would do greater works than the ones He did. Three times so far this Easter Season we’ve heard that promise. How often have we heard that Promise? When is it going to sink in that He meant it?
We are called to reach out in faith and trust God to do what is best for the people we are reaching out to. Our success does not depend on our abilities or inadequacies but on the infinite love of an almighty God.
There is a song , popular on Christian radio, Same Power by Jeremy Camp, that I first heard as I left the SC Charismatic Conference in October, 2015. It was the very first song I heard after I got into my car and it struck me as confirmation of the conference and the Charismatic Renewal.
The chorus reads like this; “The same power that rose Jesus from the grave, the same power that commands the dead to wake lives in us, lives in us. The same power that moves mountains when He speaks, the same powers that can calm a raging sea, lives in us, lives in us. He lives in us, lives in us”.
How true. We have the Holy Spirit, the same Holy Spirit given to the disciples at Pentecost. We been given awesome gifts and we live in a world desperately in need of those gifts. So many around us are wounded in one way or another, whether spiritually, emotionally or physically. It is impossible for our priests and deacons to meet the needs of all those who need someone to pray with them.
We have been given these gifts for a reason. Take a good look at the world around us. Outside of our technological advances are we really any different from Pagan Rome? The Roman Empire was converted because the first Christians weren’t afraid to use the charismatic gifts God had given them. Why are we afraid to use these gifts? Why do we keep them secret as if we are ashamed of them? Why do we worry about what people will think?
Aren’t we called to step out in faith? Didn’t St Francis challenge us to be fools for Christ? Didn’t Jesus promise that we would do greater things than He? Is it a coincidence that the Catholic Charismatic Renewal began as our country was turning pagan?
We’ve been given the power to change the world, to turn this country back to God and to bring people back to the Church. We need to use this power. It is the only way we can change our country and the world for the better. Politics is not the answer, God and the gifts of the Holy Spirit are.
Pray with people; use the charismatic gifts God has given you. Reach out to those around you. Don’t be afraid or ashamed. The Holy Spirit is calling us to action. He will provide us all we need.
This morning I heard an awesome homily. Possibly one of the best I ever heard. Father preached about Paul’s line in Hebrews 13:8. “Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” He is the first non-charismatic priest I ever heard point out that the Jesus we meet at mass is the same Jesus who multiplied the loaves, raised the dead and healed the sick.
Isn’t that what Jesus would want us to know? So often when we hear about the Real Presence it seems that Jesus is only present and interested in our spiritual well-being that He isn’t interested in our health or other problems. We vaguely imply that Jesus would bless us in communion but don’t really expect Him to do anything.
Yet in the Gospels we read so often that Jesus’ heart was moved with compassion. We see especially in Matthew that He healed all who came to Him in faith. We see Him changing water into wine. He sought the Samaritan woman at the well. He fed the multitudes so that they would not faint on their way home. Does this seem like a Jesus who only cares about us spiritually?
Didn’t He invite us to come to Him? Didn’t He come so that we might have life and have it abundantly? Didn’t He create the Eucharist as a means for us to come to Him? Isn’t He infinite love incarnate?
Our faith teaches that Jesus is present in the Eucharist in all of His Divinity and in all of His humanity. He is present in all of his power and infinite love. He passionately desires that we come to Him. He longs to bless us to knock our socks off. He is infinite love and infinite wisdom come down to earth in the form of a simple host and wine. The all-powerful God awaits us each time we come to communion so why do we expect so little.
This is the living Jesus in all of His power and glory! Open your hearts, allow Him to do what is best for you. Ask for everything He wants to give and expect miracles.
Last night I taught the RCIA class about the Eucharist. After listening to what other members of the team felt was important to include, listening to several Cd’s, watching a video and reading many articles. I thought the most important thing was to be open to the Holy Spirit and think about what Jesus would want us to know.
I am really truly here, present in each host, present in all my power and divinity. I am not a symbol, not just a wafer or a watered down diluted version of myself. I am Jesus Christ present in all my power and glory. I am the same Jesus that walked the dusty roads of Galilee, the God-man who healed the paralytic, walked on water , calmed the storm, fed 5,000 with 5 loaves and a few fish and raised Lazarus from the dead.
I am the same Jesus who loved you so much I endured the most painful death in all of history so that you might spend eternity with me. I am the Jesus who could not bear to leave you, could not wait for you to die so I created the Eucharist as a way to be with you right now.
My love for you is so great, so immense, human words are absolutely inadequate to describe it. Niagara Falls pales in comparison to the love and blessings I long to pour out upon you.
I long for you to come to me. I long to bless you. I know you intimately. I know everything about you. I see all your physical weaknesses and problems, all the ways you suffered physically. I know how much you have suffered emotionally, how many times you have been hurt by others and all the times you have hurt yourself. I see how you beat yourself up, how you find it so difficult to forgive yourself, so difficult to love yourself. I see the sins that trap you and I passionately long to set you free, to make you a new creature in me.
I long for you to come to me in the Eucharist, come to me with an open heart, trusting me to pour my love upon you and do what is best. My desire is for you to be healed completely, whole and to know me intimately in communion, to know and experience my love. Come to me and open your heart so I may pour my love upon you.
Most of us learn that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist when we receive our first communion but don’t really understand what that means. Unfortunate for many of us who are adults we still don’t understand it and basically go through the motions when we receive communion. How many of us are really approaching Jesus with the reverence we should be showing for the God of the Universe? How many of us approach communion expecting nothing?
Yet our Church teaches that Jesus is present in all of His power and Glory,the Son of God in all of His awesome majesty. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. That means the same Jesus the crowds followed everywhere, the same Jesus that healed the paralytic, feed 5,000,stilled the storm and raised Lazarus from the dead is present in every communion. He still heals people today, especially those who come to Him in real faith, believing He is truly there in all His power, able to heal them.
We have to change the way we think of the Eucharist, It is not a thing,a wafer, but a living person, the Second Person of the Trinity, the Son of God and Love Incarnate. He is a person with infinite love, power and wisdom who longs passionately to bless us and give us what we need best. He is as St. Thomas said our Lord and our God,the Divine Physician, Divine Healer,our everything. He came so that we might have life and have it abundantly.
We need to open our hearts and minds when we go to Communion, expecting God to bless our socks off and trust Him to give us what we truly need rather than telling the God of all creation what we want.
There is is one thing I learned in 15 years of praying with people for healing. It is not about me or the person I pray with. It doesn’t matter how holy I am, how worthy I am or the person I pray with. It is about God!
It is about God and his awesome incredible love for us. His love for us is so great that the word infinite is inadequate to describe how much He loves us. It is about the God of infinite love, mercy and hope who wants what is best for us and passionately yearns for us to come to Him so that He can pour out His love upon us . It is about a God who loves us so much he came to earth as an infant to die the most painful death in history so that we can be free from the sin and pain that enslaves us.
The Gospels tell us that Jesus’ heart was moved by compassion whenever He encountered those who are hurting. Paul tells us (Hebrews13:8) that Jesus is the same yesterday and forever. Jesus’ heart is still moved with compassion and He still heals people today.
Jesus ardently waits for us to come to Him in the Eucharist and open our hearts so that He may pour His love upon us and heal us of everything that hurts us spiritually, emotionally and relationally as well as physically.
My job is to point to Jesus in the Eucharist and remind people that He is truly present in all His power and glory and help them to open themselves up to His compassion and the love the He so passionately wants to pour upon them. That is what healing prayer really is about; opening ourselves up to the incomprehensible love God has for us and allowing Him to bless us, to do what is best for us.
Benny Hinn, the famous faith healer seen on TV, believes in the power of the Eucharist to heal so why don’t Catholics? Today I receive an article from Church Pop that told about Hinn’s talk given to a Protestant church. He said more healings occur in Catholic churches than in Pentecostal churches because Catholics believe that Jesus is really present in the Eucharist. Interesting statement from a Protestant preacher but you can see a video of his talk on-line for yourself.
Benny Hinn is right. I have witnessed healings myself. There was a lady in my parish who was in extreme pain. I prayed with her to be totally open to the power of the Eucharist on a Sunday before mass and she improved. The next Saturday I again prayed with her and the pain was gone. I learned that she had been hospitalized with a spinal infection that doctors were unable to treat. After being prayed over her infection disappeared.
I have prayed over people to be totally open to the grace of the Eucharist and operations were canceled, biopsies were negative , and one woman is now able to get through the week without pain medication.
Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist in all His divinity, power and most importantly in all of His infinite love for us. That is a basic teaching of our faith. All of the power that created the universe is present in the host. Hebrews 13:8 tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. That means when we receive communion we encounter the same Jesus who healed the paralytic, raised Lazarus from the dead and whose cloak healed the woman who bled for 12 years.So why don’t we expect to see healings occur?
The problem with too many of us is that we are like the people in the recent Time Warner commercials, you know the woman who doesn’t want a raise or more vacation time. In the Eucharist Jesus offers us much more than just physical healing. He looks at us and sees all of the spiritual and emotional wounds we have suffered from over the course of our lives and He wants to heal all of these wounds. He wants to pour on us a Niagara Falls worth of grace to help us heal and change our lives but we don’t want to change, to let go of our hurt or anger so therefore we lose out.
Pray to be totally open to the power and graces of the Eucharist including the grace to change. Allow Jesus to do whatever He wants knowing that His love for you is infinite. Then watch miracles happen.