The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Homily: Wednesday, 22nd Week of Ordinary Time

Readings: Col 1:1-8; Ps 52; Luke 4:38-44
To whom do you take your troubles?

The best answer is clearly offered in today's Gospel passage. For it's Jesus who heals. It's He who brings us the Good News. It's He who saves us from the evils that surround us.

In the Gospel we see Jesus teaching and preaching and healing, doing the work we're all called to do. His disciples freely brought their troubles to Him because He was always there, always ready to deal with any difficulty, to heal any affliction or sickness.

When Simon Peter invited Jesus to his home for the Sabbath meal (right after Jesus preached in the synagogue in Capernaum), Our Lord instantly healed Peter's ailing mother-in-law. Jesus heard Simon's prayer. Is it any wonder Jesus drew huge crowds wherever He went? No one who sincerely asked for His help left disappointed. Not only did he heal, but all those healings and exorcisms gave power and authority to His Word. They prepared His disciples to understand who He is and what they would be called to do.

Because of these healings many came to realize that no mere man could do what Jesus did. When He touched eyes and ears, people saw and heard. When He laid His hands on a fevered brow, the fever left. When He called forth the dead, they came to life. When He rebuked demons, they left as well. Indeed, those demons shuddered in His presence because they recognized Him as the Christ, the Son of God. They knew He had power to destroy their kingdom by releasing those bound by it.

This was Jesus's mission: to free us from bondage, to break the chains of sin and evil that tie us to the world and keep us from the Kingdom.

This leads to another question: Do we seek freedom in Christ and trust in His power to set us free?  I hope so, for He's always ready for us, hoping we'll come to Him.

When Jesus and the disciples went to a lonely place to regroup and rest, they found instead a crowd waiting for them!  And how did Jesus respond?  Did He tell them, "Look, folks, I'm tired. I need a little down time, a time to recharge these healing batteries." No, He set aside His own needs and welcomed them with open-arms. Our Lord always places our true needs ahead of everything else. Through His divine compassion He showed the depths of God's love and concern for all who come to Him in need, giving them His Word, healing them physically and spiritually.
You and I can never intrude upon God. We can never exhaust His generosity and kindness. And this leads to our final question: Do we allow Jesus to work through us, to bring healing to our family and community?

Brothers and sisters, approach Him with expectant faith, knowing that He'll answer your prayer, that His will be done in your life and the lives of others. God's healing power restores us to health and to active service and care of others. There's no trouble He can't overcome; no chains He can't break.
And so, once again, to whom do you take your troubles? With expectant faith take them to Jesus.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have power to heal and deliver, to forgive and save. Set us free to serve you joyfully and to love and serve others generously.

Teach us to be like you.

Praised be Jesus Christ.

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