All life comes from the Creator God, the God who created the universe and each one of us. The Temple is the dwelling place of God. God’s glory, God’s shekinah,God’s presence fills the Temple and flows out as living water giving life to everything in its path, as Ezekiel says. God’s glory, God’s healing power fills the cosmos and our very hearts. We are the Beloved with whom God is will pleased. God lavishes life, grace, and living waters upon us. Our Prodigal God gives life lavishly. Jesus understood this when he said, “I have come that you may have life in abundance”—extravagant, lavish and loving abundance.
Buddhists speak of happiness and the Judeo Christian tradition speaks of shalom—health, wholeness, well-being, abundance of life, grace-filled life. The very God life within us!
Jesus finds us at the portico of the Temple. Perhaps, like the lame man, we are crippled in some way. We languish at the gate awaiting someone to help us, to heal us, to give us shalom—the peace and well-being only God can give. Jesus is eagerly awaiting the opportunity to tell us to get up and shake off our infirmity with his healing help. He will heal us and we can walk in the life of God.
I got my daily email shot in the soul from Richard Rohr this morning and I am going to quote it in full here. I encourage you to go to https://cac.org/ and sign up to receive his daily newsletters. Richard speaks powerfully about healing today He entitled the reflection “God Seem to Care about Human Suffering”:
Mark’s is primarily a gospel of action. Of the four gospels, his includes the least verbal teaching. Jesus is constantly on the move from place to place preaching and healing, preaching and healing, but it is mostly action and narrative. Jesus is the invasion of God’s Big Picture into our small worlds, and he does this much more than he talks about it. We have to look at Jesus’ actions, and how his physical healings consistently rearranged faulty relationships—with our own self-image, with others, with society as a whole, and with a God who was henceforth seen as on their side.
There is not much profit in just thinking, “Wow, Jesus worked another miracle!” But there is much profit in noting the changed status, self-image, courage, and relationship to family or community that the cure invariably entails. This is the real transformative message. I am never denying that Jesus could and undoubtedly did physical healing. It still happens, and I have seen it, but the healings and exorcisms in Mark’s Gospel are primarily to make statements about power, abuse, relationships, class, addiction, money, exclusion, the state of women and the poor, and the connections between soul and body—the exact same issues that we face today.
Further, Jesus doesn’t heal as a reward for good behavior (usually there is no mention of any prerequisites whatsoever, and often it is others who have the faith, not the one cured). Neither is there any primary concern about a later “life in heaven” in Mark’s Gospel. We projected that onto the text. All of the healing stories are present-tense concerns for human suffering in this world. They tell us that God cares deeply about the tragic human condition now. How could we miss this? In general, you should see all rewards and punishments as inherent and today (sin is its own punishment and virtue is its own reward now!) And surely what God does today, God will do forever! What is true now is true forever. That is our promise of any life and our warning against any eternal death.
We might ask ourselves what healings we have received from God and how they have changed us and our relationships. You see, spirituality is all about relationships beginning with the love relationships inherent in the Trinity.
Merton summarizes the essence of contemplation [Don’t let the big word scare you. It means living in the presence of the Divine.], “It is awakening, enlightenment and the amazing intuitive grasp by which love gains certitude of God’s creative and dynamic intervention in our daily life.” (Merton, Thomas (2007-10-18). New Seeds of Contemplation (p. 5). Norton. Kindle Edition.) We live with the certitude that God intervenes in our lives to bring us wholeness, healing, happiness and shalom—the peace that surpasses all understanding.