I was teaching dd her RE lesson yesterday and we happened to be looking at the story of the Centurion who came to Jesus and asked that his servant be healed. He then came out with those timeless words said at every Mass "Lord I am not worthy to receive you under my roof, but only say the Word and my servant will be healed."
He has made it clear in his previous statement that he recognises the authority of Jesus.
Then, because of the faith of this gentile Jesus does as He has been asked.
We see in other parts of Scripture that lack of faith means lack of miracles.
These days whenever I read a story like this I am left a little saddened and wonder about all those people who did not get healed.
Was it simply lack of faith on their behalf?
In my nursing days I did come across people who actually wanted to stay ill. The secondary gains from their illness were so great they resisted all attempts to help them overcome their problems. In His ever polite way, I assume Jesus would leave people like this alone.
But I can't believe it was simply this and lack of faith that prevented-and still prevents- healing.
There has always been some form of medicine of course. God has provided plants and chemicals that over the years have become ever better forms of medication and these alongside increasing knowledge of how the body works and can be chopped up, sewn up, replaced and patched. So God offers healing through the skill of others.
But there are still plenty of us who are ill and are seeing doctors and getting nowhere.
I did not ask for healing to begin with because I had the belief I was meant to be this way and that's that. But then it became less obvious, I suppose, that being like this was any use at all.
So I have prayed for healing.
I do believe God can heal me if He wants to.
And here I am left with a sense that He doesn't want to.
Do I doubt that He loves me? Yes, honestly, sometimes I do. He heals others. I have seen it and heard about it-but so far He has not healed me.
Blessed Margaret of Costello was never healed either. In fact it seems her disabilities were used by God to help Him reach others who were wounded by life and sin.
She granted healing to a woman against her better judgement, as she believed the woman's disability was saving her from various sins she would otherwise be prone to.
Perhaps I am not to be healed because of sins I would otherwise commit.
During a really bad patch recently I was getting very frustrated and told my daughter I wished we could somehow find the money to let me go to Lourdes.
However, the next morning I received a letter from a friend sending me a little bookmark that said "I prayed for you at Lourdes."
Perhaps I will have to carry this cross for the rest of my life. Perhaps I will not get worse-but chances are I will. Sometimes I am afraid I will not be much of a mother and will not be able to continue homeschooling. I worry that I wont be there for the children when they are adults-and I know all too well the pain of no parental support.
Or perhaps in the end a day will come when God will heal me.
I do know I am grossly unworthy to have Him under my roof-but if He would only say the Word I would be healed.