I just began using the oil that Bishop Skip blessed for use in the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Healing is an important part of the Church’s ministry today. When the Pastoral Care Teams go out they go two by two. It is biblical in that Jesus sent the Disciples out two by two. A pastoral care visit usually consists of visiting with the sick person, prayers, Communion and anointing with holy oil. It seems to comfort people to be anointed in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
Much of Jesus’ earthly time was spent in healing the possessed and sick. He healed lepers, demoniacs, the blind, the lame and people who were tongue tied among many other ailments. Huge crowds assembled where Jesus was to listen to Him preach and to be healed. This healing was and is of a physical and a spiritual nature. Jesus said something like your faith has made you whole.
Today’s gospel is Mark 5: 21-43. In the story Jesus raised a dead girl and healed a sick woman. In reading through the gospel it is important to note that St. Mark makes it a point to talk about how humble the people were who asked for help. One of the Synagogue leader’s daughter was very ill. His name was Jairus. He came to see Jesus and FELL AT HIS FEET! He begged Jesus to come and heal his dying daughter. He asked Jesus to put His hands on her so that she would be healed and live; henceforth the idea of laying on of hands when praying to have people be healed. Please remember it is God who heals people not the person who is praying for healing and laying on of hands.
On the way to heal Jairus’ daughter a woman touch Jesus’ cloak. She had been bleeding for twelve years. Jesus knew right away that some of His power left Him. Jesus asked who touch His cloak? The disciples thought it was silly question since the crowd was pressing in on Jesus from all sides. The bleeding woman came forward, FELL AT JESUS’ FEET and owned up to her actions. Verse 34 reads, “He said to her,” Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
In the meantime people came and told Jairus that his daughter had died and not to trouble the Teacher. Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” He sent the people out from the home. He took only Jairus and the girl’s mother and a few disciples in with Him. The people had been crying and Jesus said don’t cry she is not dead only asleep. The people laughed at Him. Jesus took the twelve year old girl by the hand and said, “ Little girl, I say to you get up!” She did and began to walk around. The practical side of Jesus said don’t tell anyone what happened and to give the child something to eat.
Friends, none of us are worthy of Jesus’ healing. God loves us and wants to make us whole. We come to Jesus and HUMBLY ask to be healed. We then rely on Jesus’ mercy, forgiveness and compassion for healing. We then can expectantly hope that our prayers and anointing will result in our being healed. AMEN!
Father Ed Murphy, Shared Episcopal Ministry