A ZENIT DAILY DISPATCH
Christ's Healing Is the Real Thing
Gospel Commentary for 3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
By Father Raniero Cantalamessa, OFM Cap
ROME, 25 JAN. 2008 (ZENIT)
The Gospel passage for the 3rd Sunday in
Ordinary Time closes with these words: "Jesus went about all of Galilee,
teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom
and curing every disease and infirmity of the people."
The miracles of the Gospel have unmistakable characteristics. They are never done to stupefy or promote the one who does them. Some today allow themselves to be enchanted by certain people who possess powers of levitation, or who can make objects appear and disappear, or who can do other things of this sort. Who gains anything from these types of miracles, supposing that they are miracles? Only those who perform them; they recruit disciples or make money.
Jesus works miracles out of compassion, because he loves people. He also works miracles to help them believe. He heals, ultimately, to proclaim that God is the God of life and that, in the end, together with death, sickness too will be defeated and "there will be no more mourning nor weeping."
It is not only Jesus who heals, but he also orders his disciples to
do the same after him: "He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God
and to heal the infirm" (Luke 9:2). "Preach that the kingdom of heaven
is at hand. Heal the sick" (Matthew 10:7ff.). We always find the two
things linked: preaching the Gospel and healing the sick.
Evil begins when we try to take a third route: the way of magic, that
which appeals to a person's supposed hidden powers, which are not based
on science nor on faith. In such a case, either we are dealing with a
total charlatan and illusion or, what is worse, with the enemy of God.
But we must ask ourselves another question: What about those people
who, despite everything, are not healed? What do you think? Do they not
have faith? Does God not love them?
* * *
Father Raniero Cantalamessa is the Pontifical Household preacher. The
readings for this Sunday are Isaiah 9:1-4; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17;
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