“Do not be afraid, only have faith.”

Luke 8:50 

Tuesday, 29 June 2021

Mark 5:21-43

In this third wave of the pandemic, it is interesting that we were gifted this past Sunday with a story about two significant moments of healing (Mark 5:21-43). First, a desperate father, Jairus, comes pleading for Jesus to heal his little girl, who is desperately sick. Second, an unnamed woman with a chronic, debilitating condition reaches out to touch Jesus’ clothes to seek healing. Both are desperate. Both are drawn to Jesus as a healer. Both come with deep faith that Jesus can heal.

This idea of the connection between faith and healing is a very complex one, especially when we are praying for so many who are desperately ill. We are invited to hold the invitation not to be afraid but to have faith in God, who can do everything. We rightly rejoice when the healing we have so earnestly prayed for happens. And yet we know that sometimes, even our most faith-filled prayers seem to go unheard. So, where does that leave us?  The danger is that when someone we have prayed for does not recover, we may be tempted to worry that our faith was not strong enough. How do we ask confidently and with faith for the healing needed and yet know that God’s healing may not come in exactly the way we expect or want? There are no easy answers. Perhaps touching Jesus’ clothes or pleading for healing for one we love brings healing and new life at a far deeper level than we can see or understand with our limited perspective. 

We ask for the grace to know that the one in whom we trust loves us, and those we love, beyond anything we can imagine and that the deepest prayers and desires of our hearts are heard.

Gracious God,

Give us a deep faith in your unfailing love for us. May we pray for the healing we and others need, with faith-filled hope and expectation, and the sure knowledge that your presence always heals and brings life, even in those profoundly painful moments when we cannot see it.

Amen.

 
Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell

Dr Annemarie Paulin-Campbell has worked in the area of Ignatian Spirituality for 19 years and heads up the work of the Jesuit Institute School of Spirituality. Her primary focus is the training and supervision of spiritual directors and the giving of retreats. She is also a registered Psychologist and her PhD focused on the interface between Christian Spirituality and Psychology. Annemarie is an editorial advisor to “The Way” journal of Spirituality and has authored a number of articles relating to the training of Spiritual Directors in an African context. She has contributed to several books, most recently co-authoring a book of Lenten Reflections: “Long Journey to the Resurrection”. She has contributed to international conferences and consultations in Spirituality in the United Kingdom; the United States; Rome; Spain, Ethiopia, Kenya and Zimbabwe.

a.paulin-campbell@jesuitinstitute.org.za @annemariepc_c
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