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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

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James 1:19-27
Psalm 15
Mark 8:22-26

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instant healing

"Then a second time Jesus laid hands on his eyes, and he saw perfectly; his sight was restored and he could see everything clearly." —Mark 8:25

The lepers were healed on the way (Lk 17:14), and this blind man was healed in two stages separated by a few seconds. Because we have experienced only a few healings, which have usually been gradual, we have tried to use these two Scriptures to fabricate a theology of God's timing. We're trying to get God's word to confirm our limited experiences rather than trying to get our experiences in line with God's word. In the Gospels, Jesus almost always healed immediately.

God's time is now, without delay (2 Cor 6:2). He commands us to act on His word (Jas 1:22). He certainly practices what He preaches. We don't need to concoct a theology of gradual healings from isolated Biblical references. We need to repent of our sins, grow in faith, seek God's will, change our Spirit-stifling life-style (Gal 5:17), and let Jesus heal through us today with the same immediacy as He did in His public ministry. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever" (Heb 13:8). Any changes in God's power or timing are not His doing but ours.

Prayer:  Jesus, may I be in Your will and not in Your way. May I not hold You back or slow You down.

Promise:  "A man who listens to God's word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks into a mirror at the face he was born with: he looks at himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like." —Jas 1:23-24

Praise:  Praying the "Our Father" one day at Mass with particular fervor, Mary felt an instant relief from a heaviness and fear that had burdened her.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape How Jesus Healed on audio AV 11A-1 or video V-11A.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 16, 2005

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