Is health the most important aspect of our life? A Jesuit priest who writes on spiritual matters in the Catholic Times begins his column with this question. Jesus spent a great deal of time in his public life curing the sick. We need to search for the meaning of these actions of Jesus. What do we mean by disease and health?
As in the
time of Christ we have many who are sick. When a family member is
sick we pray for them, but not always with the results we want. Why is
this the case? There are those that pray and believe their prayers were
answered, and those who prayed for the sick only to see them die, giving
them great sorrow. How do we understand Jesus' curing of the sick?
say health is our most important asset. True, for
when we lose our health we can no longer do what we want, and are dependent on others. We lose much. Consequently, when we watch TV
we are bombarded with advertizing concerned with health:
beauty, live longer, good food, medicines, exercises-- tempting us with many hours and expenditure of energy for well
Is bodily health that important that it takes first
place in all our concerns? Isn't that the reason Jesus cured so
many people? Our columnist doesn't think so. In John's Gospel, Jesus
says the spirit is what gives life, and the body is of no value. But
Jesus did cure the sick, what is the meaning of this? Jesus wants us to
understand that the soul is the most important part of our
existence. We are tempted to think that the body is everything and miss
the place of the spirit in our lives. We are one body with God by means
of the spirit which is the important dimension. When we have the right
understanding and sensitivity of spirit, the body follows.
When we concentrate on the spirit and
are no longer tied to the body, the body regains health. When Jesus cured
the sick he told them it was their faith that cured them. It was not
his power but the belief of the sick person. This is what cured the
The columnist concludes with the thought that
we need to remember this when we reflect on the actions of Jesus.The
body in itself is not what is important. The essence of our human
existence is the soul which acts and loves.
we speak in this way it is easy for some to think disease is all our fault, which is not what is being said, and is cruel. An
important message is being delivered and we don't want to miss the
message by a black and white approach to the subject-- seeing only the two opposite extremes of the issue. Our efforts should be directed as followers of Jesus to understand his teaching. Attitudes, have a great deal to do with the kind of health we possess: a principle that few would deny.