Today’s Gospel: Mark 1:40-45
I have Multiple Sclerosis. And Hashimoto’s disease and skin cancer and blepharitis. (I know I have you guessing on that last one.)
My MS meds cost double what I make in a year. Managing the symptoms feels like a full time job and my work, my vocation, has never been more demanding, never been fuller. I often think of St. John Paul II nearly shaking his fist at heaven at the diagnosis of Parkinson’s, just when his pontificate seemed to need him the most. God’s ways are not my ways, not my preferences, my logic, my choice.
I pray for healing. I believe it could come in an instant. If it does, I’m going to sign up for dance lessons and train for a marathon! Who wants to join me?
But Jesus is infinitely creative in the way he heals. And in what he chooses to heal.
Who’s to say that Jesus is not looking on me precisely with pity, with mercy, just as he did the leper that day? Who’s to say there isn’t mercy in the gift of disease, of suffering, of feeling overwhelmed, or fatigued down to my bones?
Maybe instead of healing my body, Jesus prefers to heal my heart, to make me more compassionate for the suffering of others, to make me wiser and richer in my soul because I know better every day what it means to need him completely. Maybe he prefers to heal my relationship with him, to keep me—at times literally—prostrate before him, nose to the marble in reverence and need. For daily, minute by minute, in the minutiae and in the grand scheme, do I need him.
There’s a reason George Weigel calls JPII’s Parkinson’s his last encyclical. I say, his last love letter to the Church.
How is the creative touch of the healing Jesus present in my life?
Jesus, have pity on me and heal me as you wish. Let me write a beautiful testimony to your faithfulness in the way I accept suffering, hardship, difficulty, and limitation.
Copyright 2017 Gospel Reflections Team at CatholicMom.com