15 April 2009 Wednesday in the Octave of Easter
Acts 3, 1-10 Healing in the Lord’s Name
The first reading from Acts gives us a very important message. The healing of the crippled is a sign on earth that just as Jesus healed before His death, He continues to work through the outpouring of the Spirit. And thus everyone who calls on the Lord’s name will be saved (Acts 2, 21). I repeat: EVERYONE, not just a selected few. Everyone therefore can heal.
Healing does not depend on the healer, the individual person. Healing is a gift of the Holy Spirit to all. Peter and John (Acts 3,12), Paul and Barnabas (Acts 14, 14-18) corrected people who focused on the individual healer saying that it is not from their power that they heal, it is from the power of the Lord. This is what differentials a faith healer from a magician. A magician manipulates his power, and thus whatever event that happens come from the magician himself; while a faith healer’s power does not come from them, but from God. His healing is therefore taken from prayer, summoning or requesting God to make the person well. Thus it is God’s decision whether to grant healing or not. As prayer, God is not forced: he may or may not answer our prayer.
The condition is therefore clear, that when we request God to heal our loved ones, we pray in the Lord’s name. This is God’s way of honoring Jesus whom we have rejected and put to death. This is God’s way for us to remember that it is not through the individual person that healing happens, but it is given by Jesus himself who has risen from the death. Because if He is not alive anymore, then healing in His name would not happen.
The insight may disorient us, but we all have to look into real events. It is granted to everyone, therefore everyone can heal; even those who have fallen into sin. We just have to look at those who have claimed to have healing powers that are stronger than others. Many of them are not exactly holy people. The same way with Church leaders or ministers: there are those whose attitude and lifestyles dis-edify or scandalize us. But we have heard stories of healing as a result of their touch and prayer. We know parents whose prayer for their children’s healing have been granted. We know of the “text or prayer brigade” for a friend, relative, or a complete stranger. We know how a friend --- who may not be exactly a saint to us --- make us better through their embrace or a pat on our shoulders. We know how those who have listened to us, even those without their hands around us, make us feel better after experiencing rejection or failure. By their words of wisdom or an affirmation through emails or a long distance call, they have help us heal.
We don’t need to be a saint in order to heal. All we need is a sincere heart, deeply desiring healing, we only have to invoke the Lord’s name. And then trust that the Lord listens.