We are loved. If there was any message that Jesus wanted His disciples, wanted us, to hear and understand, it is that we are loved. We are loved by God. We are loved by Jesus, the Eternal Image of the Father. Usually, when we speak about the Lord’s love for us, we focus on the supreme act of love, His death on the cross. He took our sins upon Himself and let them die with Him so that we might have life with Him. “I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sins upon that cross,” we sing in “Here I am to worship.” The cross is the greatest act of God’s love for us. It is not the only way that we have experienced His love, though.
The first reading from Isaiah reminds us that the Messiah comes to heal all who are hurting. The eyes of the blind are opened, the ears of the deaf are cleared, the lame leap like stags and the tongues of the mute sing. Pain and suffering were never part of God’s plan for mankind. They resulted from man’s original sin, repeated every day in each of our lives. The sin was more than disobedience. The sin was the decision to place oneself over God. It was a decision away from the Lord of Life. Sin is always a decision in favor of death. God sent His Son to restore the world to its proper order, as Isaiah says, back to a time of no more tears, no more pain, no more death.
Jesus healed the deaf man not just as a sign of the coming of the Messiah, as it certainly is, but as a sign of the love that God has for each of us. He heals us. The healing may be physical, or psychological, but it certainly is spiritual. Sometimes we are down on ourselves. Our lives are not coming out the way we planned. We are not happy with ourselves. Do we really have a right to be negative about someone whom the Lord loves? Yes, there are times that we cannot understand why God loves us, but He does. He is God. His love, His mercy, His compassion are beyond our understanding. If we want to be healed by God, we need to extend His healing hands to others.
We pray specially this weekend for our new Pastor, Fr Jason, that God will bless his ministry among us and help us all to continue to be that one big family as we journey together in faith.