God loves us as we are

Saturday, April 16, 2016

 God loves us as we are
Easter day 21

When Jesus was proclaiming the gospel, an important part of his proclamation was the miracles of healing he performed.  There are stories of individual healings but many time in which the gospel says that he healed everyone that came or many were healed of their deceases or demons cast out.  Besides helping the people he healed, these healings were meant to proclaim his divinity.  After Jesus’ ascension, the disciples continued to perform healings in the name of Jesus to show that the message they were  proclaiming was from Jesus, who was God and who had power over heaven and earth.  The reading from Acts today has St. Peter healing a man who had been paralyzed for 8 years and raising a lady from the dead in the name of Jesus. 

While not as frequent as during the apostolic times, we still have miraculous healing in the name of Jesus in our day, mostly in sites in which The Blessed Mother proclaims a modern message of Jesus.  Lourdes, France is a place we recall today because it is the feast day of  St. Bernadette Soubirous (1844-1879).  However, Bernadette was in poor health all her life and never experienced healing herself.  Healing happened and continues to happen in the cave where Mary appeared to her and where she was instructed to scrape the earth a little until a spring of water appeared and continues to flow until this day.   Millions of people have since come to the spring for healing of body and spirit and have found healing there, but Bernadette, herself found no relief there from her ill health. In one of the commentaries of her life it states “Bernadette moved through life, guided only by blind faith in things she did not understand—as we all must do from time to time”.   In one of the apparitions Mary said to her “I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.”

Bernadette was 14 years old and had not yet made her first communion when, on February 11, 1858, Mary appeared to her in a cave above the banks of the Gave River near Lourdes.  Mary told her “I am the Immaculate Conception,” but Bernadette did not understand what that meant.  In the next 5 months there were 18 more appearances, the last one occurring on the feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, July 16. 

The heart of the message of Mary to Bernadette to share with all of us is:
God loves us
As we are

As we continue in  our post Easter mistaogogy, we may be str
uggling with a need for healing of mind or spirit, but let us take comfort and courage from the Alleluia verse of today:

Your words, Lord, are Spirit and life;
you have the words of everlasting life

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