In Mark’s gospel, after his baptism and gathering disciples, Jesus immediately begins a ministry of healing. After curing the man in the synagogue convulsed by an unclean spirit, Jesus goes on to cure Simon’s mother-in-law, and then the whole town comes to the door of Peter’s house with their sick.
The healing he brings is not just for bodily life on earth; his healing is a sign of the kingdom that is to come, ‘where Christ will raise our mortal bodies and make them like his own in glory.”
Above, all, we look for that healing, that ultimate healing that takes away our fears before death and helps us make our way to the life promised us.
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus, a Catholic priest and political activist, died a few days ago. David Brooks in his column in the New York Times yesterday wrote about the priest’s bravery in face of death.“ Some years ago, Neuhaus had a near death experience that gave him a certain grace before that reality we all must face…
When he wrote about his experience later, his great theme was the way death has a backward influence back onto life: ‘We are born to die. Not that death is the purpose of our being born, but we are born toward death, and in each of our lives the work of dying is already under way.’
“It also made him almost indifferent about when his life would end,” Brooks writes. “People would tell him to fight for life and he would enjoy their attention, but the matter wasn’t really in his hands, and everything was ready anyway.
In his final column for First Things, a magazine he edited, he wrote.
“Be assured that I neither fear to die nor refuse to live. If it is to die, all that has been is but a slight intimation of what is to be. If it is to live, there is much I hope to do in the interim.”
We are having an Anointing of the Sick today here in our chapel. May the Lord bring his healing to our house.