Deacon Prodencio Bognay reads and reflects on the Gospel of Matthew (9: 32-38) in which Jesus when he saw the crowds felt sorry for them because ‘they were harassed and dejected, like sheep without a shepherd’.
Deacon Prodencio says, when Jesus made his way proclaiming the kingdom of God it appears it was simpler than how we imagine it at times. He didn’t sound highly theological nor did he sound like he was someone speaking from another planet. Instead, he looked after the basic needs of those people he encountered. Casting out devils and the possessed and curing the sick are among those basic needs that Jesus addressed.
Instead of simply preaching about the unconditional love of God to those possessed and the sick he let them experience the love of God through healing. We can see then the connection of all the healing ministries of Jesus to the Kingdom of God, which is the centre of his public ministry.
Every healing encounter is an experience of the Kingdom of God. Whether you are the sick person who receives healing, or you are an agent of healing, such as a Medical practitioner, Deacon Prodencio says, we can always celebrate the healing encounter as an experience of the Kingdom of God.
As we heard from our Gospel reading today, Jesus is inviting each one of us to become his labourers.
If we honour every healing encounter we experience as a taste of the Kingdom of God, we might realise how close God is in our life, even amidst our frailties. If we allow others to experience healing as well, through our help if we are able to, we might realise how close God is to our life, even in our concrete situation.
Deacon Prodencio invites us to think as well of our personal experiences with healing and ponder how God has been journeying with us.