Healings in the Heart of Jesus
by Fr. Rodney Kneifl
... from the SFSpirit Archives, November, 2004
Have you ever looked at the front cover of a 1000 piece puzzle and thought, "I must put this beautiful picture together"? When the time comes to open the puzzle box and we begin to sort out the pieces, we realize that this will not fit together as quickly as a child's five piece game. We usually begin by looking for difference of color, shape, or size and the border pieces to start the building process on the table. Almost every person begins to pray for patience about 5 minutes - into the puzzle process. This is going to take longer than we thought.
Healing at Different Speeds
Some hurts in a person's life are so large and they are so many strings attached to a situation, like the pieces of a 1000 part puzzle; it takes a while for Jesus to convince us of His way and style of bringing about total cure.
A change of the way of life, the way we speak, act, or live is a turning toward the kingdom. A form of healing begins because we desire to return to the Kingdom of Jesus' love. It can be hurtful to leave that old lifestyle and the darkness that was so familiar to our life.
There is great light and love from Jesus when we give up blaming everyone else for our troubles, acceptance of our brokenness and even asking Jesus to love those areas of our lives that have not been loved for so long. Jesus is also ready to release us from the bondage that keeps us in this way of darkness, blame, and difficulty. Jesus can literally heal us in the blink of an eye. All that Jesus does is always in accord with the Father's love and will; that the best may be done for each one of us. Jesus Christ the Redeemer came as a helpless infant. He wanted to be like one of us.
Five Ways God Uses Problems
The problems we face will either defeat us or develop us depending on how we respond to them. Unfortunately, most people fail to see how God wants to use problems for good in our lives. Here are five ways God wants to use the problems in our lives:
1. God uses problems to DIRECT us. Sometimes God must light a fire under us to get us moving. Problems often point us in a new direction and motivate us to change. Is God trying to get our attention? "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not unto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
2. God uses problems to INSPECT us. People are like tea bags If you want to know what's inside then, just drop them into hot water! Has God tested your faith with a problem? What do problems reveal about us? "When you have many kinds of troubles, you should be full of joy, because you know that these troubles test your faith, and this will give you patience" (James 1:2-3).
3. God uses problems to CORRECT us. Some lessons we learn only through pain and failure. It's likely that as a child your parents told you not to touch a hot stove. But you probably learned by being burned. Sometimes we only learn the value of something by losing it. "It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes" (Psalm 119:72).
4. God uses problems to PROTECT us. A problem can be a blessing in disguise if it prevents us from being harmed by something more serious. Last year a friend was fired for refusing to do something unethical that his boss had asked him to do. His unemployment was a problem, but it saved him from being convicted and sent to prison a year later when management's actions were eventually discovered. "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good" (Genesis 50:20 ).
5. God uses problems to PERFECT us. Problems, when responded to correctly, are character builders. God is far more interested in your character than your comfort. Your relationship to God and your character are the only two things we're going to take with us into eternity. "We can rejoice when we run into problems... they help us learn to be patient. And patience develops strength of character in us and helps us trust God more each time we use it until finally our hope and faith are strong and steady" (Romans 5:3-4).
Here's the point: God is at work in our lives – even when we don't recognize it or understand it. But it's so much easier when we surrender to his plan for our life.
It is never easy going through life's hurts and difficulties. There are many ways that Jesus will bring a conclusion to the brokenness. Jesus has good ears; He can hear even the tiniest whisper in our heart, that we need help. He honors that deep request from within. Take the first step and bring your pain to Him. We have nothing to fear from Him. Jesus is good at healing. "They carried to Him all those afflicted with various diseases and racked with pain: the possessed, the lunatics, the paralyzed. He cured them all" (Matthew 4:24).
Jesus knows how to handle all the pieces in our lives. From the Archives - SF Spirit - November 2004.
REFLECTION FOR TODAY
January 18, 2022
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
THE SABBATH AS AN INVITATION TO GRACE
The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." Mk. 2:27
Our gospel reference above forms part of Jesus' teaching on the purpose of the Sabbath and on its proper observance. This was his response to a criticism and a silly accusation made by Pharisees against his disciples for picking heads of grain on the Sabbath as they walked by the fields.
The disciples of Jesus on a Sabbath were hungry and to satisfy their hunger, they had plucked ears of grain from a field, removing the husks by rubbing the grain between their palms and blowing away the chaff. The Pharisees accused them of violating the Sabbath laws by performing three items of work forbidden on the Sabbath, namely, harvesting, threshing, and winnowing.
From the point of basic common sense, their accusation was silly. Would our loving and all-merciful God really be offended because His disciples picked heads of grain to eat as they walked by the field? Perhaps a scrupulous mind may think so, but every bit of natural common sense should tell us that God would not be offended by such an action.
The final statement of Jesus about these accusations sets the record straight. "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath." In other words, the whole point of the Sabbath Day was not to impose a scrupulous burden upon us; rather, it was to free us to rest and worship. The Sabbath is a gift from God to us.
This statement of Jesus can take on a practical implication when we look at the way we celebrate the Sabbath today. Sunday is the new Sabbath and it's a day of rest and worship. Sometimes we can look at these requirements as burdens. They are not given to us as an invitation to follow the commands in a scrupulous and legalistic way. They are given to us as an invitation to the life of grace.
Like the Jewish Sabbath, the Christian Sunday is to be a day of rest and refreshment with members of the family. The Sabbath is to be a day for thanksgiving and the recharging of spiritual batteries through participation in the Eucharistic celebration. A day for parents to teach religious Faith and Bible to their children; a day to do works of charity in the neighborhood and in the parish; and a day for socializing with family members, neighbors, and fellow-parishioners.
The Sabbath should be seen as an invitation to grace, given to us for our own well-being. The commands are for us. They are required because we need the Sabbath. We need Sunday Mass, and we need a day to rest each week.
Reflect, today, upon the way you celebrate the Lord's Day. Do you see the call to worship and rest as an invitation from God to be renewed and refreshed by His grace? Or do you see it only as a duty that has to be fulfilled. Try to take on the right attitude, this day, and the Lord's Day will take on a whole new meaning for you.
My Lord, I thank You for establishing the New Sabbath as a day to rest and worship You. Help me to live every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation in the way You desire. Help me to see these days as a gift from You to worship and to be renewed. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day
As a lay organization, the mission of the Charismatic Renewal is:
- To help all people come to know the love of God in their lives as demonstrated through our Lord, Jesus Christ.
- To help our brothers and sisters respond to God's love by loving God in return through a commitment to serve Christ and His Church.
- To assist them to listen and follow the movement of the Holy Spirit at work in their lives.
- To help our brothers and sisters recognize the ministry that God has called them to, and accept the gifts that God desires to bestow upon them for His work in our Church and in our world.
- To lead them to a New Life offered to us by the Holy Spirit.