I managed to get to Mass today and I am grateful. I managed to sit through it all and come out at the end without feeling like I wanted to curl up and die; and I am grateful for that.
The Gospel reading was about how Jesus healed the ten lepers and sent them to show themselves to the priest at the Temple. Only one, a Samaritan, returned to say thank you.
Father preached about giving without condition. He pointed out that Jesus healed all of them, even the nine that didn’t come back. He was happy that they had been healed.
He then told us the story of an old woman he was called to advise who had just come into a large amount of money. She didn’t need the money at all, and so had decided to divide it between members of her family and give a substantial sum to a dear friend who had always been there for her and was now going through chemo for cancer.
Father had been very pleased with her decision and said she didn’t need him, all she needed was the cheque book and get on with it.
But (bizarrely) the old woman refused. Although she had no need of the money she was going to “invest it” and not allow it to be divided until she died. Father told her the money was “dead” too then.
He didn’t tell us what she finally decided to do, but he made it clear that Jesus never behaved like that. I got the impression that despite asking for his advice and getting it with a dose of the Gospel – how Jesus didn’t hang on to His giving, that she decided to hold on to her money anyway; and perhaps her friend who had supported her so much never did live to see the gift. Very sad.
But while Father was saying if you have it, give it and give it unconditionally, I was left wondering why there is so little healing in the Church these days. So many people around me are suffering with serious health problems, physical and mental, and many are members of a Church.
I know we must accept suffering. Job has been part of Divine Office quite a bit over the last week or so- but Jesus healed and He handed on all His charism to the Church through the apostles. I wonder why it’s not so prevalent today. I know there are still people healed, but so many are left and I wonder why.
Perhaps I am one of the nine. After all I was able to be there today and I was still thinking- why can’t I be healed. I am grateful for todays graces, and perhaps suffering is a grace in itself; perhaps if the old lady with the large dose of dosh had understood suffering she would have been only too happy to share her good fortune and enjoy the happiness of her family and friends. Do you need to have really suffered to understand joy? I don’t know.
I still wish…and I would go back and say thank you. …I would! Honest I would!