Our Lords Desire to Heal Us

By Fr. Michael Phillippino

Fifth Sunday of Ordinary Time
February 5, 2011

Saturday, St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Middletown is having a Healing Mass in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. It was at Lourdes, in France, that Our Lady appeared to a young girl named Bernadette Soubirous. At one point of the apparitions, Our Lady told Bernadette to “drink from the spring.” Bernadette had to dig before she found any water, but today that spring is a site for many pilgrims who seek healing, many have been healed at Lourdes.

Today’s readings also remind us of our Lord’s desire to heal us. In today’s Gospel, Peter’s mother-in-law is healed from a fever, a sign that evil was present. After being healed by Jesus, she gets up and waits on him and the disciples. The gospel is not telling us that she simply felt so good she had to do something for them. The gospel is teaching us that once Jesus saves a person from evil they turn to a life of loving service of God and neighbor.

Heal the sick” (Mt 10:38) was a command our Lord gave to the Church, and so the Church continues to strive to fulfill this command by caring for the sick and by her prayers of intercession for the sick. But as St. Paul learned, not all illnesses are cured, and the Lord has to remind him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). Sometimes our Lord asks us to have faith like Job though he cries out “Is not man’s life on earth a drudgery” (Job 7:1). Job still has faith that despite his sufferings, God will make him equal to the task.

Our Lord asks for faith and trusts from us. He asks us to trust him despite the sufferings in our life, he asks us to look beyond our own sufferings and to be willing to unite them to his own, that the greater healing of our hearts and souls may be accomplished. For it is not just for our own sake that he asks us to offer up our sufferings, but for the sake of others, as the catechism reminds us:

“Moved by so much suffering, Christ not only allows himself to be touched by the sick, but he makes their miseries his own. ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases’ (Isa 53:4). But he did not heal all the sick. His healings were signs of the coming of the Kingdom of God. They announced a more radical healing: the victory over sin and death through his Passover. On the Cross, Christ took upon himself the whole weight of evil and took away the ‘sin of the world’ (John 1:29), of which illness is only a consequence. By his passion and death on the Cross, Christ has given a new meaning to suffering: it can henceforth configure us to him and unite us with his redemptive Passion.” (CCC. 1505)

Fr. Mike


A Digest of Articles from Catholic Blogs and Websites
February 5, 2012

The heroic minute, immediately upon waking – the first battle of the day
5th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Mark 1:29-39

Rising very early before dawn, [Jesus] left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.

After exorcising a demoniac, healing St. Peter’s mother-in-law, and curing many others, Jesus teaches us the absolute primacy of the interior life by rising early the next morning, before it was day, so as to go to a deserted place and pray.

We’re on a Mission from God
The Bible is not just for Churches and Synagogues. Portions of it are read as literature, even in secular university classrooms. Invariably, when you look at the syllabus of such courses, you find Job.

It’s not hard to see why. Job poignantly expresses what all human beings experience at one time or another–the feeling that life is a burden, that our daily routine is drudgery, that our suffering is meaningless, that there’s not much hope

Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time: Jesus Heals
The gospel reading for today is presented as a contrast to the first reading. The first reading is Job’s lament. The Book of Job is a long book in the bible. It has 42 chapters. The first two chapters of this book and the last ten verses of chapter 42 are the story framework most of us are acquainted with when we think about Job. This is where we hear about Job being a just man who is beset by all sorts of horrible suffering. He says, “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be

Bishops Issue Letters Objecting to HHS Mandate
On Feb. 1, Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia issued an action alert on the Health and Human Services mandate, joining more than 100 other bishops in voicing objection to violation of Catholic conscience in health care.

“Bishops and lay Catholic leaders across the United States have made it clear that we cannot comply with this unjust law without compromising our convictions and undermining the Catholic identity of many of our service ministries,” he wrote.

Updated: *153* Bishops (Over 80% of Dioceses) Have Spoken Out Against Obama/HHS Mandate
In the past I’ve compiled a list of all the bishops speaking out on a particular controversial issue (for instance, over Notre Dame’s invitation to President Obama) — here are the bishops who have spoken out against the Obama/HHS mandate.

Catholics, Get Ready to Suffer
I remember coloring in the lions on the paper my Catechism teacher had handed out. The lions in the coliseum were approaching a group of huddled Catholics.

My CCD teacher asked us if we too were willing to suffer for our faith the way the martyrs of old did? I remember looking at those cartoon lions and deciding that yes, I very much had the stuff to stare down a cartoon lion. Easy.

I Thirst For You – Amazing Prayer of Mother Theresa
Do you have a basic faith in God, but struggle to believe that Jesus really loves you on a personal basis? Do you believe that He knows you intimately, and wants to have a close relationship with you? Sometimes we know all these things in our head, but the truth of the matter has not made it to our hearts.

The Fatima Story and Prayers of Reparation
Would world peace be a bigger miracle than the Sun dancing at Fatima? Fatima prayers, along with the rosary, are a part of what has been called Our Lady of Fatima’s Peace Plan from Heaven! The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia dos Santos and her cousins Jacinta and Francisco Marto (pictured above), six times in 1917 at the Cova da Iria near the town of Fatima in

Pope: Christ’s Prayer in Garden of Gethsemane Shows God’s Constant Providence
Christians should trust in the loving providence of God, even when going through dark periods in life, Pope Benedict XVI said in his Feb. 1 general audience.

“In prayer we must be able to bring before God our fatigue, the suffering of certain situations and of certain days, our daily struggle to follow him and to be Christians, and even the weight of evil we see within us and around us, because he gives us hope, makes us aware of his nearness, and gives us a little light on the

Why You Should Wear the Miraculous Medal
When I was still Protestant, I remember reading St Ephrem the Syrian. I was amazed by how often he spoke of the Mother of Christ and how much he praised her in his poetic hymnody. Ephrem was a Syrian Christian living from AD 306 – 373. He is early and he undoubtedly teaches that Mary was without stain, unlike other humans. He is probably the earliest and most explicit Patristic witness to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Made public today was a Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith containing pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith. Summarised extracts of the English-language version are given below.

“With the Apostolic Letter of 11 October 2011, ‘Porta fidei’, Pope Benedict XVI declared a Year of Faith. This Year will begin on 11 October 2012, … and will conclude on 24 November 2013, the Solemnity of our Lord Jesus Christ, Universal

Three Prophesies About Christ That Couldn’t Have Been Made Up
In the New Testament, Jesus is depicted as fulfilling numerous Old Testament Messianic prophesies. These prophesies provide objective verification that He is Who He claims to be. But how can we know that these things really happened? In other words, how do we know that the New Testament writers didn’t just make up these details, to make Jesus look like the Messiah?

I want to suggest three sets of prophesies that the New Testament writers couldn’t have manipulated, because they were outside of their control.

The Soul is Meant to be a Kind of Heaven
Towards the beginning of the Confessions of St. Augustine, he asks the Lord to enter his heart. This house he explains is too small and too cluttered to be a dwelling place for God, but when the Lord enters in, He has the power to expand this sacred chamber of our being and to purify it. He makes it into heaven — that spiritual place where He reigns over all.

The soul is meant to be a kind of heaven, a place where the reign of God is on earth as He is in Heaven, where his will is done, and where his Kingdom comes.

Divine Doctoring, and the Church’s Least Understood Sacrament
We Sheas tend toward the hefty end of the spectrum. Some of that is genetics. Some of it is how the family tends to relate to food and (fails) to govern its appetites. Sin has a generational aspect to it. And sin is, among other things, enslaving (as anybody struggling with addiction will tell you). That’s why, after nearly fifty years of grappling with my renegade appetites and watching my weight balloon into dangerous obesity, I finally (after my priest suggested it) asked for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick a few years ago.

Is Prayer to the Saints Pointless?
In my experience, Catholic-Protestant dialogues about praying to Saints tend to have two steps. In the first stage, prayer to the Saints is viewed as something suspect, or even evil. In the second stage, prayer to the Saints seems harmless, but also pointless. Let’s address each stage in turn.

Is Prayer to the Saints Evil?

The first of these objections is simple enough. The Old Testament prohibits divination, witchcraft and mediums (Deuteronomy 18:10). This is why King Saul was sinning when he visited the witch of Endor, and persuaded her to conjure up the spirit of the deceased prophet Samuel (1 Sam. 28).

Mother Teresa’s 15 tips to help you become more humble…
I’m sentimental. My appreciation for nostalgia is a balanced one now, but when I was a kid I kept everything because of sentimental value. Between old homework assignments and feathers from the backyard, my room was a mess of clutter and I was proud of everything I had that attracted dust. In one of several drawers overflowing with “memories,” was a photo album stuffed with my collection of holy cards for every occasion, most of which didn’t apply to an 8 year old – marriage, death of a child, ordination, lost causes. Sifting through my album when packing up for college, I came upon a yellowed scrap of paper with typewriter font with a litany entitled “Mother Teresa’s Humility List.” Since then each time I read it is like choking down humble pie; and, it always leaves me starving for Christ, yearning to imitate Him.

Ten Must-See Web Resources for Catholics
Thanks to these 10 ministries, a wealth of Catholic teaching, history, art, music and culture is a click away.

When I was coming into the Church (back in 1987, when Pangaea was breaking up) one of the big challenges for somebody who wanted to know what the Church taught was simply finding material that made the faith intelligible to people who

Proud to be Catholic
Pride is a complex development in all human nature. The plethora of connotations of pride confuses common man. Pride is referred to as positive, as in: “My daughter won the spelling bee! I am so proud.” “I am proud of my recent promotion at work.” Pride drives us to improve ourselves. Pride eliminates complacency. However, pride is a negative when we are too proud to apologize, we are too proud to admit we are wrong, we insist we are always right. The Ancient Greeks called it hubris – extreme pride that results in one’s downfall.

Envy is THE Diabolical Sin
A short while back we read from First Samuel at daily Mass and encountered an envious Saul. Upon David’s return from slaying Goliath the women sang a song praising him. Saul should rejoice with all Israel but he is resentful and envies David as he hears the song: Saul was very angry and resentful of the song, for he thought: “They give David ten thousands, but only thousands to me. All that remains for him is the kingship.” And from that day on, Saul looked upon David with a glarring eye.

Why the Magisterium makes sense to me
I am married to a Korean national. I mention this not just because it is cool (and it is cool) but I’ve learned quite a few things about my Faith from being close to someone of a very different culture.

Because of my wife’s nationality I know quite a few Koreans by association. They come from education backgrounds that make your humble scribe feel quite inferior, or at least I’d feel that way if they weren’t so humble about it. And one of the core components of this education is learning the English language.


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