Preach and Heal

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The WORD in other words (2022) by Fr Mario Rasonabe SVD – Rome

Wedensday 14th Week Ordinary Time

A young and well-to-do professional wanted to become a missionary. He entered the seminary, and with a determination and discipline he developed at medical school before joining seminary formation, he made it through ordination. He was assigned to a very far and remote mission station and worked as the parish priest and, at the same time, the village doctor. He was very happy and fulfilled because he was doing his mission literally for both body and soul of the people. On one occasion, he jokingly said: “Sometimes I get confused which one should I do first when there is an emergency. Should I get the holy oils or the medical knife?”

Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus did not send his apostles only to preach but also to heal. He wanted them to realize the importance of the wholeness of the person as they accomplish their mission. He wanted them to learn from him because he did the same. He did not just preach, but he healed.

The synoptic gospels recorded 22 healing stories of Jesus to show that the salvation offered by God is for the restoration and redemption of the whole person. This gives us the idea that what the Gospel is offering us is not just a set of precepts given by God for our salvation. It is truly a gift from God giving us the examples to follow in the life and works of Jesus—God’s presence among us.

As followers of Christ, we too must not only “preach,” we also give witness to God’s goodness towards others, soul and body. Let us learn from Jesus who did not despise the sick; on the contrary, He bent over them with love. He came close to them not with the law but with his power of healing and consolation.

Let us make our lives a proclamation of the good news of Jesus Christ. May we show through our actions that God is truly good, always bringing his peace, comfort, and joy to everyone.

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