Today is the fourth Sunday of Great Lent, the Gospel story is about the healing of the demon-possessed man.
This story comes at an interesting time in today’s world, when faith, love, and illness are all present among us. As the story is related Jesus returns from the Holy Mount where the Transfiguration has just occurred. He finds a situation where a desperate father and a befuddled group of disciples (sans Peter, James, and John) are awaiting his return. The father begs Jesus to heal his son of this possession that has come close to killing him several times; the disciples are at a loss to understand why they have not been able to cure the boy, since they have healed so many people already. Jesus is, to say the least, frustrated, to say the most, angry. Jesus heals the boy and explains to the disciples that this type of problem needs more than just the laying on of hands, it needs fasting, faith, and prayer.
Today I saw a story about someone who claimed he was healing people of SARS CoV-2 over the air, an interesting performance. Jesus never promised that illness would not befall his followers, nor that his followers would not die, just look at the stories of the Apostles and disciples of his time, and all of us who have followed. But, faith and love will see us through these times. Faith in the healers of our day who are working hard to find a cure. Faith in those who have chosen a life of love to be there to help us (nurses, doctors, EMT’s, police, etc.) when we need them. Faith that God has put these people where they need to be, and has given them the skills and knowledge they need, and the unwavering love to commit so much time and effort to help people who, during the normal course of their lives, they would never meet.
We, also, need to show our faith an love. Faith these people, with their God-give talents, will find the cure. Love of our neighbors by doing our part – not panicking, not going to stores and buying more than we need to see us through to the next week, so that others can do the same. Love to look in on our neighbors (remember who Jesus said they are) to make sure they are safe and have what they need. Love to help us keep our tempers and not take our frustrations out on people we meed who are just doing their jobs, doing their best to make it through these times as well.
Faith and Love. That is the message of this week.