Maladies of the Soul
Part of my morning meditation is that after I finish my readings from The Lectionary, I find the daily reading in Forward Day by Day. Today’s is particularly interesting, relating to Jesus healing the woman who touched the hem of his garment and was cured of her hemorrhagic disease. He lists some of the maladies of the soul, for which belief in Jesus is the best medicine:
MONDAY, January 28
Mark 5:21-43. [There was a woman] who had endured much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had; and she was no better, but rather grew worse.
Even the most talented and dedicated physician has an occasional patient who can identify with those words. Doctors, being human, are fallible, and some unhappy conditions have no human cure.
But then there is Jesus. Healing was a major part of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Often, as in this woman’s case, a physical malady is cured. This is true today as well. But many people, in Jesus’ day and ours, suffer from illnesses which are not cured, either by Jesus or a physician. What of them?
Three things: First, it is appropriate to pray for healing. Second, dying is integral to the world as God has created it. Generations are meant to come and go; no one should try to hang around here forever. Everyone’s body will wear out someday and a holy death is part of holy living. Third, the most important healing is not of the body but of the soul. Diseases of the soul include bitterness, anger, greed, seeking revenge, grasping for control, and condemning other people and groups of people. From these maladies, Jesus heals not some but all who follow in his way.
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