Monday, January 30, 2017

Cured of Your Affliction

By Melanie Rigney

Since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us rid ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us and persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the leader and perfecter of faith. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

They will praise you, Lord, who long for you. (Psalm 22:27b)

(Having touched Jesus, the woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years) felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Jesus, aware at once that power had gone out from him, turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who has touched my clothes?" But his disciples said to him, "You see how the crowd is pressing upon you, and yet you ask, Who touched me?" And he looked around to see who had done it. The woman, realizing what had happened to her, approached in fear and trembling. She fell down before Jesus and told him the whole truth. He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has saved you. Go in peace and be cured of your affliction." (Mark 5:29-34)

Lord, help me to reply quickly and with conviction when you call me to publicly proclaim Your greatness.

The bleeding had stopped. She felt in her body, we are told, that she was healed. She could have gone on her way, anonymously. There was a crowd; the others needn’t have known how she was healed, or even that she was healed.

But would the woman who had suffered from hemorrhages have been cured?

Psychology Today tells us healing is “becoming whole” while curing means “eliminating all evidence of disease.” The woman’s story so beautifully illustrates the difference. Just touching his clothes made her whole. She could tell, in the way we all can when a bone finally heals or we’re finally over the flu or a cold or a sinus infection. We’re whole again.

But when the woman knew Jesus was looking for her, she became clean in a different way. You might say she went to confession. She shared her story, about how she had suffered and secretly touched him in hopes of the hemorrhages ending once and for all, and knew she had been healed physically. Maybe she was afraid she’d get in trouble. Maybe she was afraid she’d be mocked. But still, when she summoned up the courage and faith to testify as to what happened, Jesus cured her of all those other concerns that separated her from her community and God during those years, of her shame and her self-disgust and her feeling she would never be “normal” again and perhaps a sense that God was “punishing” her. But when she was cured, the inner darkness was gone. She was whole again in every way, freed of more than the bleeding. She was cured… as we can be when we go to the Lord and ask for the gift of a clean and upright spirit, the gift only He can give.

Go to confession. Or, talk with someone about a time the Lord both healed and cured you. It may encourage that person to seek the same gift from Him.

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