Grace to you!
Yesterday, I shared how faith working through charity leads to heavenly glory. In today’s reflection, I will share some thoughts on some steps to finding healing in the Lord.
Recall that Advent is a time of hope-filled expectation. We wait in hope, not in despair. We are certain that what we hope for is for real. We know in faith it will come to pass. We trust the Lord Jesus who has promised, because he is reliable and always true. No suffering or pain or sickness we face on earth would take away our confidence.
We have a wonderful example from the Gospel of Matthew (9:27-31). It is the encounter between the Lord and the two blind men, whom he healed. From that miracle, you would find some lessons that could help in your Advent spiritual journey and development.
By the accounts of the Gospel of Matthew, the healing of the two blind men is the 9thmiracle performed by Jesus. Understanding some of the principles behind the miracle may help us in our daily prayers for healing as we wait in hope for the Lord’s coming.
First is to realize that the Lord is always passing by. “Jesus was passing by…” (cf. Mt 9:27). By this I mean, the Lord is always present to us, more than we are to ourselves. The Lord is closest to us during moments of need and worries, more than we may have known. During your moments of need, remember that the Lord is with you and is ever ready to accompany you pass through the difficult times. The Lord is our most reliable friend.
Second, the need to ask for mercy and help. The two blind men called out to the Lord for mercy and healing. “Son of David”, they said, “have pity (mercy) on us” (Mt 9:27).
Sometimes, it is difficult for us to ask for help when we are in need. There is nothing wrong in asking for help. I understand some people are afraid of receiving no for an answer. However, you never know what the outcome would be unless you’ve asked. With regard to the Lord, no one who asks for mercy, grace and healing receives no for an answer. We all have in Christ, the yes for our salvation (cf. 2 Cor 1:20). God does miracles often to those who know they need help and reach out to God for mercy and healing. You have to call for mercy.
What is it in your life, that of your family, friend, workplace, church or community that makes you worried and frustrated? Do you feel helpless and incapable of bringing the needed change and healing? Tell the Lord about it. Be an intercessor for that cause, seeking mercy and grace. Calling for mercy shows you aren’t perfect and all self-sufficient. It shows we know our limitations. We need things from the Lord. The Lord provides.
Third, have faith in the Lord who heals. Faith in the Lord Jesus as Savior is key to healing from him. We have to acknowledge that Jesus, the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the Messiah. The two blind men in our above story did this by calling Jesus “Son of David”, a technical biblical language which traces the identity of Jesus to David and recognizes that the Messiah is the Son of David. The Jesus who heals is the one who came in history, through the genealogy of David, born of the Virgin Mary, in fulfillment of the prophecies of thousands of years ago. He is not simply Christ of mystery. He lived and worked among us in history and continues to live among us in mystery. He is alive!
Fourth is the belief that Jesus the Lord heals you. Jesus asked the men “Do you believe that I am able to heal you?” They said to him “Yes, Lord” (Mt 9:28). Not only did they express the grace of faith in the healing power of the Lord, they also reaffirmed their faith in him as Lord (Matt 9:28). If you do not trust that the Lord can heal you, it would be difficult to be healed. Common sense shows us that in a doctor-patient relationship, healing is facilitated when the patient trusts the doctor.
Finally is Jesus’ declaration of healing. Be certain of this, the Lord does not let us down. Scripture says that the Lord is close to the broken hearted and he saves (Ps 34:18).” He heals.
Are you in need? Tell it to Jesus. Trust he will take care of you. He will.
May God’s grace of healing be rich in your life and family as we await the coming of the Lord. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Advent Week 1: Is 29:17-24; Mt. 9:27-31]
Grace to you!
Yesterday, I reflected that the message of the End Time is hope for the righteous. Rather than being afraid or feeling depressed, we should be delighted that the Lord keeps us in the loop regarding the divine plan for his Second Coming. We have sufficient information from the Lord on how to make best of each moment of our day. No need to be anxious.
Think about this: Isn’t it a privileged for anyone to uncover to you his or her will? To get an insider information about anything is a privilege. It should inspire trust and joy. In a deeper way, to have the privilege of knowing the mind of God because the Lord has revealed to us the substance of it, should cause us to rejoice.
Moreover, it delights the Lord when we understand his will and revelation and respond accordingly. It is the simple and humble heart that understands and responds accordingly. In such a heart, the Lord delights.
From the Gospel of Luke, we read a beautiful message. The Lord gave the message to the disciples after they returned from the “mission of the seventy.” That is, when he sent seventy of his disciples, two by two, to go to the wider community and share the Good News.
“In that same hour Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said: “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.” (Lk 10:21)
I am filled with joy to read this message from the Lord. To realize that the Lord is actually excited when someone understands or grasps the gift of his revelation, makes me ecstatic. It’s a beautiful thing to see.
Many biblical scholars regard the above quotation as the “Lord’s hymn of joy.” It is interesting to note that the object of this joy of the Lord is you. It is you when you understand the Lord’s revelation. When you respond in grace to his promptings and revelations.
You may want to know that the Greek word used to describe how Jesus felt, his joy, is egalliasato. It has a sense of someone who is excited and full of exultation and joy for seeing the children win. The object of the joy is about the child. It is selfless.
Imagine you going to watch your child in kindergarten or high school or even college play his or her first baseball competition for the school. Imagine the kind of excitement you will have if your child hits a home run which decided the game.
Or the excitement of watching your child graduate from college when thought, given the child’s past, such a success would be unlikely. I would love for you to think about that very moment. Imagine that kind of joy. It could be used as an analogy to describe the Lord’s joy because you understand his will and revelations. It is also comparable to the joy of childbirth, when the mom carries the new born baby and gazes on the child’s face and sees the beauty.
The Lord’s joy flowed from the Holy Spirit and his praise was directed to the Father. Scriptures says, “Jesus…filled with the Holy Spirit…” It is the joy flowing from Jesus through the Holy Spirit to the Father. It is a Trinitarian joy, a complete joy.
Imagine that the Joy Jesus feels is the Trinitarian joy for you and me. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit share in the joy when we come to believe God’s revelation in Christ. Isn’t this wonderful?
The same applies to revelations concerning the end of time. To understand that the plan of God towards the End Time is for hope and the fulfilment of God’s ultimate plan, inspires the same joy, not despair. When people are despairing because they are reminded of the End Time and all the trials and tribulations that come with it, it could be because they have not realized that all things work unto good for those who love God (Rm 8:28). Could it be that sin has dulled their mind and the thoughts of judgment becomes terrifying?
I pray we work with God’s grace and never put ourselves in a situation where the massage of judgment becomes terrifying. Sin keeps us in that situation. Grace life, life in Christ, righteousness frees us from it.
If worried about events around you and concerned for the future, how about opening your heart to God, asking the Lord to fill your heart with the joy of His presence? God will fill your heart. The Lord’s joy will be in your heart and your joy will be complete (Jn 15:11). Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Tuesday of the First Week of Advent: Is 11:1-10; Luke 10:21-24]