During this short season of the ordinary time in the liturgical calendar of the Church which is paving way for the lenten season, we have been listening to the Gospel of St. Mark the evangelist. Mark starts his Gospel by introducing Jesus as the Christ of God who has come to establish the rein of God, defeating the reign of darkness and evil. He begins: “The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God” (Mk 1:1).
After Jesus is baptized by John, he begins his ministry of preaching the Kingdom of God, by calling for repetance and driving out the demons. This shows clearly that Jesus has inaugulated the reign of God and is indeed Himself the living expression of this reign. After the episodes on the the fall of the reign of Satan, Jesus then sets out to free people from their sicknesses, in fulfilment of the prophesy about the Messiah by Isaiah the prophet of hope who anounced that: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim freedom to the captives and release to prisoners” (Is 61:1). Jesus set out to heal people of both their physical and spiritual sicknesses.
Following the example of Jesus, we know very well that part of our mandate and annointing is to bring the healing God’s to the people. It in this spirit that on this Sunday on which falls the feast of our Lady of Laudes – Mary help of Christians and when we hear of the healing of the leper by our Lord, our brothers and sisters in St. Juachim and Ann parish in Soweto, led by Fr. Provincial Anthony Ammisah and the Parish priest Fr. Leon Ipoma, celebrated the Lord’s healing, by laying of the hands on the sick and praying for them. The priest is the minister of healing in sharing of the ministry of Christ the supreme healer.
May the good Lord who went around healing the sick help us to understand the healing ministry as Christians and especially as the ministers of the Sacrament of healing. We want to appreciate the effort made by the Soweto fraternity to celebrate this ministry in this way.
Fr. Lawrence Muthee, SVD.