6th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B) - 11 February

11th February 2024
“Turn all your thoughts and aspirations to heaven. Work hard to secure for yourself a place there forever.” - St Damien of Molokai
A reflection on today's Gospel by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen:
"Christ worked miracles as signs to convince men that He was the one that was promised. He never worked a miracle to amaze a multitude. He never worked a miracle to satisfy His hunger or His thirst. He never worked a miracle to obtain a living. He never received money for the things which He accomplished. He refused to convert the stones of the wilderness into bread to satisfy His own hunger or to cause water to gush out of a rock to slake His thirst. Instead, He asked a woman to let down her bucket to give Him a drink. Our Lord explained why He worked miracles. He said, ‘If I act like the Son of My Father, then let My actions convince you where I cannot. So you will recognise and learn to believe that the Father is in Me and I in Him.’
"There is nothing silly or unreasonable in any of the miracles of our Blessed Lord. They were subject to the tests of everyone. The vast majority of the miracles took place not in the secret places of people’s lives, but in what might be called the physical world where they could be verified scientifically. Our Lord never performed a miracle unless there were witnesses present. When He healed the leper, there was a great multitude following Him. In the healing of the centurion’s servant, He did not even go where the servant was dying. When He raised Peter’s mother-in-law from her sick-bed, the apostles and other people were present. Our Lord never went up into a mountain to perform some miracle alone. His works were accomplished before the eyes of multitudes of people. That is why none of the miracles of our Lord were ever actually denied, not even His Resurrection. The apostles were forbidden by the authorities to teach it and preach it, but the miracle itself was never denied.
"The miracles of our Lord are inseparable from His person. His miracles differed from that of prophets and others inasmuch as theirs were answers to prayers, granted by a higher power. But His flowed from the majestic life that was vested in Him. That is why St John calls them, in his gospel, ‘signs’ or ‘works’, meaning that they were the sort of thing that might be expected from the Son of God. They were evidences of Jesus’ divine revelation. But they were even more, for they testified to His redemptive action as the Saviour of the world. By healing the palsied and the lame and the blind, Christ clothed with visible form His power to cure spiritual diseases. These physical diseases were to Him symbols of that which was spiritual. He often passed from the physical fact of the miracle to its symbolic and spiritual meaning. For example, blindness was a symbol of blindness to the light of faith. By casting out devils from those who were possessed, He pointed out His victory over the powers of evil, whereby men would be freed from slavery to evil and restored to moral liberty.
"If you expel miracles from the life of Christ, you destroy the identity of Christ and the gospels. Even a neutral attitude toward the miraculous element in the gospels is impossible. The claim to work miracles is not the least important element of our Lord’s teachings. Nor are the miracles wrought by Him merely an ornament to His life. They are interwoven with His entire life. The moral integrity of our Lord’s character is dependent upon the reality of His miracles, because if He were a deceiver, He would not be what He claimed to be. Therefore, we cannot put asunder two things which God has joined together, namely, the beauty of Christ’s character and the reality of the miracles that He worked." (Through the Year With Fulton Sheen)
Food for thought
Leprosy was and still is a particularly virulent disease of the body. The rotting of flesh is a visible sign of its effects. Sin could very well be called the leprosy of the soul. When we commit a sin we are inflicting a wound on our own soul that will fester and gradually cause decay to the soul. If our sin causes others to sin then we are spreading the infection. ‘Unclean! Unclean!’ was the cry of the lepers in the bible. The stain of sin makes us unclean. How are we to be cleansed? Through the precious blood of Jesus Christ. Just as He cleansed the lepers of their disease, so, too, can He cleanse our souls if we go to Him with contrite hearts. Through the sacrament of penance, Christ pours out His mercy upon us and heals those sores and wounds spread over our soul. A scar will remain, but our soul will be clean and healthy once again.
Prayer to the Divine Physician
Dear Lord Jesus, You went about healing all those who were sick and tormented by unclean spirits. You cleansed the lepers, opened the eyes of the blind and by speaking a simple command, You empowered the crippled to rise up and walk. You sent forth Your life-giving power to all those in need, including those You raised from the dead.
O Divine Physician, I come to You now in great need of Your intervention. I surrender my life and health into Your loving hands. I ask You to send forth Your healing power into my heart, mind, body, soul and spirit. Remove from me every lie of the enemy and destroy all the word curses that have been spoken against my health. If I have accepted medical beliefs that I should not have, I ask for Your forgiveness and denounce those beliefs right now. I break every agreement that I have made with my sickness and disease. I denounce every symptom of my illness, and I ask to be set free by the power of Your truth. Please send forth Your Holy Spirit to renew my mind and cleanse my thoughts. I refuse to bow down and serve the symptoms of my illness any longer. Please draw my attention away from myself, and help me focus on Your enduring love.
O Divine Physician, You are the source and strength of my recovery. Show me how to proceed with Your plan for my restoration. I surrender my healthcare into Your loving hands. Please help me to discern every aspect of my treatment, medications and recovery process, so that my every thought and action conforms to Your good and perfect will for my life. Amen. 🙏💖💐