Why does God heal some but not others? This is a perturbing question that many might ask when considering the readings for this weekend. Many do not receive the miracles they are looking for; yet, some do. I recently heard of a man who went to Lourdes with a debilitating illness. When asked about his desire to be healed, he said he had mixed feelings about whether he wanted to be cured of his illness. It was such an important part of his conversion and had brought him into an intimate relationship to Jesus. If being healed would hinder his relationship with Jesus, then he didnБt want to be healed. It was this man the Lord chose to heal at Lourdes of all the many hundreds of people who went on the pilgrimage there. Why was this person healed and not all others who wanted to be healed? This is a great question and must be addressed through a correct understanding of the Gospel. Recognizing GodБs presence In the readings for this week, we find two stories in which the miracle of life is restored. Through the prayers of Elijah, the boy of the widow is raised. The widow recognizes the LordБs work in the prophet and testifies to his being a true prophet. БNow indeed I know that you are a man of God. The word of the Lord comes truly from your mouth. Б
Of all the people to come, Elijah visited her and the Lord raised her son. In this great miracle the widow was able to recognize the Lord at work. The Gospel passage is a similar story but with a big difference: Jesus on his own authority raises up the boy. We see that Elijah is a type of Jesus and a foreshadowing of the Messiah who would make all things new. Jesus raises the widowБs son by his own power, showing that we can say truly: БGod has visited his people!
Б The widows in both passages are able to recognize that God is present with them. No easy answer So the question remains: Why does Jesus heal some and not others? God visits everyone in his good time and desires that we all be saved, provided we desire to be saved. We simply have no definitive answer as to why some are healed in this life and others are not. This question is especially mysterious in our sinful world, where God can at times feel distant. Yet, the reality is this: We are not alone; God visits us! Jesus is present now in our hearts, he knows our needs, he knows our desires and has remedied the path of sin to which we are accustomed. He has outfitted the Church with his healing presence in his sacraments. Yet, we must recognize his presence. To do this we must let go of sin. The man at Lourdes and the widows were open and attuned to GodБs presence. Let Jesus heal the wounds of sin that have accumulated and prevented you from experiencing his love. Deacon Barsness is in formation for the priesthood at the St. Paul Seminary for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis. His home parish is Annunciation in Hazelwood, and his teaching parish is Holy Family in St. Louis Park. Readings Sunday, June 9 10th Sunday in Ordinary Time Reflection How have you felt GodБs presence during an illness, whether yours or someone elseБs? Tags:, Category : The men and women of the Bible could easily have asked the same question. Many of them did again and again and again. Here\’s just a small sampling of similar \”inconsistencies\” in the history of God\’s dealings with His people.
When the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel reigned in Israel, Elijah was spared but many other prophets of the Lord were put to death (1 Kings 19:14). Daniel was delivered from the lion\’s den (Daniel 6:22), but the apostle Paul remained in chains for many years (Acts 21-28) and was eventually beheaded by the Romans. Peter was miraculously set free from prison in answer to the church\’s prayers (Acts 12:5-19), but James the brother of John was executed by the sword (Acts 12:2). When Herod\’s henchmen came hunting the newborn king of the Jews, the infant Jesus escaped to Egypt while other innocent children were slain without mercy (Matthew 2:16-18). And that\’s just the beginning: down through the ages there have been some saints who by faith \”quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, and turned to flight the armies of the aliens,\” while others \”had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment\” and were \”stoned, sawn in two, tempted and slain with the sword\” (Hebrews 11:34, 36, 37). Where is the fairness, the justice, the impartiality in all of this? The plain answer is that there isn\’t any. As Job found out the hard way, there can be no question of fair and equal treatment when sinners stand in the presence of a holy God. There can be nothing but the miracle and mystery of grace from beginning to end: \”I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know\” (Job 42:2, 3).
The real question is not \”Why does the Lord heal some and not others? \” It\’s \”Why is anyone ever healed at all? \” God alone knows the answer. This is a \”hard saying. \” There\’s only one way to live with it, and it can be summed up in a single word: trust. We have to believe in the goodness of our sovereign Lord and remember that, even when things seem to be swirling out of control, He is there in the midst of the storm, working out His unique purposes for each and every one of us. For some this will mean physical healing, deliverance and victory. For others it will involve an opportunity to \”share in the sufferings of Christ\” (Romans 8:17; 2 Corinthians 1:5-7; 1 Peter 4:13). Why the distinction? We don\’t know, but someday the master plan will be revealed, and then we\’ll have all eternity to talk it over. In the meantime, it\’s not our place to reason why, but simply to accept the role assigned to us by the Architect of the universe: \”For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times things that are not yet done, saying, \’My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure\’\” (Isaiah 46:9, 10). We\’re well aware that this response, though intended to be as comforting and reassuring as possible, may come across as somewhat severe. If you feel a need to talk it over at greater length with a member of our team, please don\’t hesitate to. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors available who would love to speak with you over the phone. Resources Referrals Articles