Have you ever thought about all those people Jesus healed during His ministry here on earth? They were so happy, grateful, and changed. In some cases (the illness of leprosy) they were now free to rejoin society, be reunited with their families, and finally get their life back. They went on to live their lives. Some became great saints of the Church.
And every one of them eventually died.
Hey, why do you have to bring us down with that hard dose of reality, father? Because that’s also part of the story, and ignoring reality is just one more example of the slavery of delusion that our faith constantly warns us about. Delusion, mere nostalgia, false sentiment, shallow “feel good” placebos, all contribute to an infantile faith too weak to survive even one generation. And our faith is meant to change forever, not just merely some history bound by time. Time is, after all, running out!
Even some scientists suggest that the expanding universe will one day contract and re-explode! Ouch!
The power of our Timeless faith is it’s mastery over the merely time bound temptations of a narcissistic focus on “myself.” And the faith does this by confronting us in our slavery to mere time by inviting us to see beyond this or that temporary situation to the value of living both in the moment fully and for the “kingdom come.”
It is this wonderful synthesis of the “already-not yet” that makes me both fully aware of my present moment with all it’s joy and pain, suffering and peace, potential and loss; AND a complete and utterly unshakeable confidence in the beauty and fulfillment of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ that fills up every moment of my life with the reality that I am FREE from all of these temporary circumstances and invited to already begin experiencing in my life right now the joy of the kingdom to come. This doesn’t make my troubles go away as much as it puts all my temporary circumstances into an eternal perspective!
Just take our Gospel Lesson this morning as an example. You know the story well. It is of the healing of the woman with the “issue of blood” for 12 years. She says to herself “If I can just touch the hem of His garment, I will be healed.” She does and she is. Read the story in Mark 5:24-34
But look at the last verse in our lesson: And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.”
She’s already healed of her affliction, so why does the Lord say these words to her? Because there’s more to healing that simply a physical change in circumstances, and learning that lesson allows me to be free from simply thinking of healing as just some miracle medical procedure to the real HEART of true healing.
True healing comes in the form of an eternal and timeless restoration of your true self in relationship with your Creator. True healing penetrates beyond the “bone” to the soul, and heals the deepest wounds of our hearts; those wounds where a pill can’t help and a scalpel can’t cut. Yes, those wounds; the wounds that keep us enslaved to our fear and delusion. The wounds that make us selfish and stingy. The wounds that divide and isolate. Those wounds.
Today, are you settling for some placebo religion that only medicates your feelings? Or are you ready to actively embrace the timeless wisdom of an eternal faith designed to apply “the medicine of immortality” to your deepest wounds and illnesses? This active practice of our beautiful Orthodox faith is meant to get to those wounds and apply the balm that heals forever. And all it takes is the humility to reconnect with Him and the faith to believe that if you can stay connected to Him, you’ll be truly healed. Practicing this faith in our everyday life connects us to the freedom from the temporary and makes us totally present to the here and now. That sounds like paradise, doesn’t it?