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Lenten Devotional – Day 23 – Healing

Scripture Readings:  Genesis 49:1-28;   1 Corinthians 10:14-11:1;   Mark 7:24-37

Jesus took the man aside…and put his fingers into the man’s ears, and he spat and touched the man’s tongue….Immediately, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue released, and he spoke plainly. (Mark 7:33-35)

Jesus healed many people during his ministry. What I like about the second healing we read today is its physicality: fingers in ears and on the tongue. Unlike the long-distance healing of the Syrophoenician woman’s daughter that we also read today, the healing of the deaf man is skin-to-skin. While I like the second healing, I admit that it makes me uncomfortable. Jesus’ “mystical” healings somehow seem more spiritual and easier to handle.

As a society, we have mixed feelings about bodies—our own as well as others’. Not only do we have to deal with mass media telling us what we should or shouldn’t look like, but many of us are also wrestling with the anti-body messages of our faith traditions. (Maybe we heard those messages ourselves; maybe our parents and grandparents heard them, and then passed them on to us). Some of us also are dealing with abuse concerns that further alienate us from our bodies.

The story of Jesus healing someone with his hands is a powerful reminder of the blessedness of the human body. A body heals. A body is healed. I don’t think it is a coincidence that we Christians are the body of Christ.

Take a moment to reflect. Imagine you are the deaf man. How do you need to be healed? Where does your life need to be healed? Imagine you are Jesus. How can you be Jesus’ hands and voice in the world? How can you be an instrument of healing in the world? How is God calling you to be in your everyday life?

Perhaps my Lenten reflection will be to allow God to remind me of the blessedness of my physical self: the blessing I can be for others, and the blessings I receive from others.

Prayer:  Loving God, you want nothing less for us than fullness of life—fullness of our entire lives, including our bodies. Open our hearts to our need for healing, as well as our blessedness and your call to us to be a blessing to others. You have no hands on this earth but ours, so we ask for your continuous guidance, through Jesus Christ, our healer. Amen.




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