The life expectancy of the average Filipino is 71 years of age. In other words, sooner or later, we are all going to say goodbye to this world. But if this is the reality of all humanity, then why did Jesus still heal people of their sicknesses? Why did he not say, “from now on you will be with me in paradise?” After all, is that really what is most important in life?
In the Gospel, Jesus heals Bartimaeus. He was blind but Jesus granted him his heart’s desire. What do you want me to do for you? Jesus asked. “I want to see.” was the response of Bartimaeus.
Three reflections on sickness and healings:
- God is in control. When God “heals” there is a reason and a purpose, when he “seemingly does not heal,” there is a reason and a purpose. Either way, we must realize that God has a plan and is in control and hence we trust his timing, his ways, and his wisdom. As Jesus said, “Your will and not my will.”
- Healing is not only about the body, but it is about the soul too. One of these days, the body will say goodbye, from dust it came and from dust it will return. What is really important is the state of the soul. This will live forever either to eternal life or damnation. Hence, if we do everything for our body, more so for the soul. Notice in the many healing of Jesus, he would always say, “Your sins are forgiven.” That is why our faith offers the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick for the forgiveness of sins.
- Sickness can be a way for us to come back to the Lord. In many cases of sickness, especially chronic, people come back to God. Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler have always been involved with people who are about to transition to the next life and they came up with 5 stages of grief:
- Denial – “No I am not sick. It just a pain, it will go away.”
- Anger – “Why me Lord, I serve your Church. There are others there who are more sinful. Why not them.”
- Bargaining – “Lord heal me and I will do this and do that for you.”
- Depression – “If only I did this and if only I did that.”
- Acceptance – “Yes, I am sick but there is hope in the Lord. He knows what is best.”
In every Mass, we pray for all those who are sick:
- May they never lose hope: “Take courage, get up.”
- May faith be their source of strength
- May we trust God’s mysterious ways.