Every time I have said these words before receiving Holy Communion, I’ve always wondered about the significance of them. Being a healing professional, this aspect of the Holy Eucharist was always of particular interest to me.
Does Jesus today so easily heal with “His Word” as the Centurion in the Bible passage experienced? What exactly is Jesus healing, when I say these words each time I receive the Holy Eucharist? How do I experience this healing? What does it take to reach a point where the healing power of God saves me from myself (my OWN will, my stubbornness, my weaknesses) and my disease?
So many questions – but they were not all answered for me at once. It has been (and continues to be) a long journey of deepening faith and repeated experiences of the love of God, healing me emotionally and physically. Boy when I look back, I was one sick person once upon a time!
Healing through total faith (with NO doubt) in the Word of God.
To activate this, I have to accept Jesus within me (receiving the Body of Christ/Holy Communion is one way). I begin to develop an intimate relationship with Him, as between husband and wife or two close friends. I become aware of His presence and am receptive to Him. And then, though His Spirit working within me, He does the rest.
These encounters do not have flashing lights(!) or high emotional feelings every time, though occasionally they may. Most often it’s just a quiet deepening of faith and a firm decision to trust God like a little child. I then feel in my heart a love for Jesus just as I feel love for another human person whom I cannot live without. It is then I begin to understand His love for me and I can trust Him to heal me, just as he did 2000 years ago.
So the next step is for me to read or listen to the Word of God, which specifically refers to my individual need for healing at that point of time. I choose specific verses out of the Bible and repeat them daily until they become a reality for me. This is the “Living Word” of God, it has LIFE (energy), power to heal, power to protect, power to redeem me. That is why it is so important to be attentive and take heed of the Word of God during the Liturgy of the Word at mass. It is Spiritual food four our souls! There is always a relevant Word from God for each of us, in one of the 3 readings.
Here are some scriptures that have been Spiritual food and brought healing to me during some of the most difficult times:
“Have faith in God … whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea’, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it shall be done for him. Therefore I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it and it shall be yours. ( Mark 12:22-25)
When I pray do I really believe without doubt that God has already answered my prayer? Do I believe that God loves me enough to want the best for me so that I may be deeply fulfilled and happy in this life? Am I able to speak to the mountains (difficulties) in my life and pray them away with total faith?
“Yet it was our infirmities that He bore, our sufferings that He endured,
While we thought of Him as stricken, and smitten by God and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our offenses, crushed for our sins,
Upon Him was the chastisement that makes us whole, By His stripes we were healed." ( Isaiah: 53: 4-5)
Do I realize that every illness, be it a fever, cancer, paralysis, headache, etc, were all healed 2000 years ago when Jesus died on the cross for me? Just as I was saved from Sin and from the power of the devil that day, so were my “infirmities” and “sufferings”. And so I believe that God wanted me to be happy and healthy always. He never intended for me to suffer with any disease and pain. This is because God wanted me to always be in relationship with Him, and when I am in relationship with him, I feel joy inspite of the pain and suffering. Then with faith I believe that being in relationship with Him, I have already accepted being healed because of His Word. That is the first step towards my complete healing.
“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….… But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for anyone who approaches God must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:1,6)
My faith is spiritual energy (substance) that is reality in heaven, which will be transformed into physical reality on this earth in answer to my prayer of hope. We say “Our Father who art in Heaven, ……, thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done, on earth as it is in heaven…..”. God’s Will for us already exists in heaven. When we have faith, we allow God’s Will to become substance and reality in our lives.
The ongoing process of healing:
I also realize that while I work on increasing and strengthening my faith and await healing in my body or my heart, I have to repent for my sins and forgive those who have hurt me. I make the Sacrament of Reconciliation for this Grace when necessary; during mass I say the “I Confess” and “Lord Have Mercy”.
I need to follow the commandments of God, seeking His Will and be filled with His love. This is not easy, and often I fail. It is a daily struggle through my weaknesses and ill health. But I pick myself up and repent and walk again in faith, asking Jesus to help me with His love and mercy. Each time I get stronger and closer to Him, and nearer to total healing and wholeness of my mind, body and Spirit. Every time I attend the Eucharist, I work towards this. I pray for Grace to forgive, Grace for strength through my weaknesses, Grace to follow God’s commandments, Grace to increase my faith till I’m completely healed.
When I reach this level of intimacy with Jesus in my heart, I become a secure person. I now know that Jesus wants me to be healthy in mind and in body. He wants me to be loved. So I am filled with His grace and am loving towards others. I can empathize with their need and their suffering and offer to them the same solace that I have received through my experience of Jesus’ love and healing. In doing so, I continue to be healed and loved as well! I am a catalyst of love and forgiveness in relationships, because people feel accepted by me and strengthened through difficult times when they are with me. But I am only a channel for Jesus to minister to them.
Can my physical illnesses really be healed in this way?
Yes they can! What medical treatment cannot do, Jesus can do. Our God is a God of Hope! When I reach the point I can do nothing more for me in my own strength that is when God steps in to do what only He can do. We need to reach that place where we seek Him and surrender ourselves completely to His love and care. Most often we don’t seek Him – we’re still trying to work things out in our own human strength and mind, and of course failing miserably.
I often wish I had realized earlier that as a human being I simply cannot live without God doing His part in my life, and I need to constantly and single-mindedly seek His plan every single day! There are many, many times that I have forgotten to do this, but in spite of that, today my life is good. That’s because for every Plan A that I tried on my own (and failed), God had a Plan B, a backup, to save me from myself in His own wonderful, comforting way! Praise you Lord!
So I can REJOICE and Praise Him even when I’ve made a mess of things and my life appears miserable and painful. Because my merciful, loving Father will set me on the right track to happiness and fulfillment when I put myself totally into His hands again.
This hope is not only for me and a select few, but it is easily possible for each and every one of us to experience with our faith (the grain of a mustard seed). I pray that as you read this, you begin today to experience Jesus’ healing love and grace, right where you are, in your own life.
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© 2005 Dr. Leela Francisco. All rights reserved.