Reflections for Sunday, July 24, 2011

Meditation and Questions for Reflection or Group Discussion

(1 Kings 3:5,7-12; Psalm 119:57,72,76-77,127-130; Romans 8:28-30; Matthew 13:44-52)

Experiencing the Healing Touch and Healing Love of God

“All things work for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28). 

Sheila approached Anne somewhat timidly after Mass one day. “Would you pray for me?” she asked. “My heart races sometimes, and I’m afraid I’ll have a heart attack.” Anne placed her hand gently on Sheila’s shoulder and began to pray. She asked God to heal Sheila’s heart, every ventricle, artery, vein, and valve—anything she could remember from biology class. Sheila didn’t expect much to happen. But as Anne prayed, something did.

Anne’s prayer shifted from concern with the physical aspects of healing Sheila to declarations of God’s love for her. “You are the delight of his heart,” Anne heard herself telling Sheila. “You are a beloved daughter, unique and priceless, and precious in the Father’s eyes.” Her words overflowed with a compassion and kindness that she could feel—compassion and kindness that seemed to flow through her hands into Sheila’s heart. And slowly, Sheila’s face changed. Tears welled up in her eyes.

Finally, as the words subsided, Sheila whispered to Anne: “No one has ever said things like that to me before.” As she turned to walk away, a beautiful smile, and peace, lit her face. Sheila had come to Mass about her physical condition, but God used her concerns to heal something different. He healed her heart all right—the part of her that resonates with his love and life. Perhaps he healed her physical heart right then, too. Or perhaps the physical healing will occur as Sheila continues to experience more of God’s love for her. But as far as Sheila was concerned, the inner healing was worth more than anything else.

God uses everything, even the bad things, to draw us to himself. He does want to heal us physically, but even more so, he wants us to live and move and have our being in him. In the light of eternity, that’s the healing that matters the most.

“Father, fill me with your love today. I give you free rein to do whatever you want in me.” 

(Many thanks to The Word Among Us (www.wau.org) for allowing us to use meditations from their monthly devotional magazine. Used with permission.) 

Questions for Reflection/Discussion 

  1. Solomon could have anything he wanted from God, but chose an “understanding heart to judge” and the ability “to distinguish right from wrong.” All of us spend a lot of time judging the hearts of others and making decisions about what is right and wrong.  What can you do this week to allow your judgments and decisions to be guided more by the Holy Spirit than by your likes and desires?
  2. The responsorial psalm says, “Lord, I love your commands.” Why should we love the Lord’s commands, even when they are often hard to keep?
  3. What are the circumstances or situations in your life that can make it difficult to follow the Lord ’s commands? What steps can you take to allow the Word of God to guide you in these areas?
  4. St. Paul says, “all things work for good for those who love God.”  But how often we rail against our fate instead of counting on the Lord’s love for us?  Can you share a difficult time in your life when the Lord worked good for you despite your hurts, fears or anxieties?
  5. In the Gospel, we read of the merchant who sells everything to acquire a valuable treasure.  How much do you “value” your relationship with Jesus?  What additional steps are you willing to take to deepen this relationship? How can other Catholics help you and support you?
  6. The meditation ends with these words: “God uses everything, even the bad things, to draw us to himself. He does want to heal us physically, but even more so, he wants us to live and move and have our being in him. In the light of eternity, that’s the healing that matters the most.” In what ways have you experienced the healing touch of God the Father and Jesus Christ?  What other areas of your life need their healing touch?
  7. Take some time now to pray for healing in your life. Use the prayer at the end of the meditation as the starting point. Also pray for others you know who need God’s healing. 

(The discussion questions were created by Maurice Blumberg, the Director of Partner Relations for The Word Among Us Partners, (http://www.waupartners.org/), a Ministry of The Word Among Us(www.wau.org) to the Military, Prisoners, and women with crisis pregnancies or who have had abortions. Maurice was also the founding Executive Director of the National Fellowship of Catholic Men (http://www.nfcmusa.org/), for which he is currently a Trustee. Maurice can be contacted at (Enable Javascript to see the email address) or (Enable Javascript to see the email address).)

These reflection questions are provided courtesy of The Word Among Us.