This coming Tuesday we welcome Auxiliary Bishop Eduardo Nevares to our parish to celebrate our Lenten Healing Mass at 7pm. While Bishop Nevares was here to celebrate Confirmation and First Communion for our children this will be his first visit to our parish at large. So please come and welcome him. More importantly please come so that the Lord can have his way with you and bless you with the healings He knows you need.
Over the years as we have done these Healing Masses it has become apparent that often the healings come in unexpected ways and in areas of our lives that we didn't really think much about. Sure that out of control blood pressure or that cancerous tumor gets our attention but it seems that God knows what we really need even more than we do. So come with a spirit of expectation and openness for whatever it is that God wants to do in your life.
During one of our previous Healing Masses a woman came who was not a parishioner but had been invited by a co-worker. There's our first lesson: make sure to invite family members, friends, co-workers. You probably know lots of people who are suffering on some level. Let them know that this is an opportunity for them to place themselves in a position where the Lord, who knows our hearts and minds, can begin the process of healing, open up a new solution to their problem, enlighten them to the real source of their struggle, give strength and courage to deal with whatever they are facing or infuse them with hope. So be a good friend, co-worker or neighbor and extend a loving invitation to someone and that in itself will be reason to love yourself a little more.
This particular lady who came didn't really have any big issue that was preoccupying her but just knew that it couldn't hurt to come and maybe get some deeper peace and a greater awareness of God. What she left with was a conviction to make some serious changes in her life. She had been cohabitating with her boyfriend, whom she planned to wed. She realized that was not how she should be going about developing a relationship with her future spouse. So she spoke to her boyfriend and they agreed to live apart until marriage. Which proved to her that her boyfriend loved her enough to make this hard choice. They are now set up to "live happily ever after".
That certainly was not the kind of "healing" she was expecting. But it was the healing that God wanted for her. So often we suffer from various afflictions that we can't quite seem to get to stop plaguing us until we make the lifestyle changes that open us up for God to come in and fix the rest. The problem is that we don't often know what changes need to be made. Often the healings come, as they did for this woman, in the form of enlightenment by the Holy Spirit. As the scripture says, "the Spirit scrutinizes our weakness" and as a result healing comes in an unexpected way.
These "little enlightenments" shouldn't be discounted in favor of the more dramatic healings that can come as well. Once the Spirit shines light on some area of our life we can then see clearly what actions we need to take to bring ourselves, body and soul into better unity and integration. And of course we should remember that God also gives us the courage or fortitude to do what we know needs to be done. So be not afraid!
Love, Fr. John B.