Pain not only hurts, but it colors our view of the world; it slows us down and changes the way we participate in life.
I have been troubled with occasional lower back pain for years—the kind that hurts fiercely, that darkens my disposition and will not leave for days. I have known a few people who have had to live with such pain constantly for years but found the grace to rise above it. One of them was my boss. In spite of his pain, he had a bright spirit and an irrepressible sense of humor. If someone had told either of us, “You are set free from your ailment,” you can bet that we would have stood up and praised God.
I have benefited greatly from contemporary science and technology and respect the many ways they enhance our health. Yet, when mainstream medical methods fail us, and someone with less orthodox methods offers relief, most of us do not bother asking for credentials. So it is with the woman in this story in Luke. For eighteen years she has endured pain and the limitations it places on her life. Thank God, this woman meets a man so close to the source of life that he can change her life.
Healing, whether it comes from the latest scientific methods or from unconventional sources, remains a mystery. However healing comes, we rejoice in it and give thanks. When we experience pain of any kind, we turn to the Giver of Life, and in one way or another, we find healing. We do not always get the life we want, but we receive strength to love the life we get.
Source of life and love, we understand so little of the mysteries of life that we do not know how to pray sometimes. But we do trust in your grace and strength to lead us to tomorrow. Amen.
The Luke text portrays the healing that Jesus has just performed as a call to decision, a call to “repentance and changed lives.” Hebrews proclaims to the readers that they “have come . . . to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem . . . and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant.” For Luke, Jesus and his wonderful works signal the accessibility of God’s transforming power and thus signal also the time for repentance. The accessibility of God’s transforming power is evident in the lessons from Jeremiah and the psalm, although Jeremiah has no choice! And amid opposition from the wicked, the psalmist af rms what Jeremiah had been told by God—that his life from its very beginning has belonged to God.
• Read Jeremiah 1:4-10. God offers light to a world covered in darkness. Where do you see God’s light in your life? How can you offer this light to others?
• Read Psalm 71:1-6. When in your life have you turned to God for refuge? How did trust in God help the situation?
• Read Hebrews 12:18-29. We belong to a kingdom that cannot be shaken. How does that realization help during dif cult times?
• Read Luke 13:10-17. How do the limitations we experience turn us to the power and grace of God?
Responda publicando una oración.