Vugt: Celebrating the Jubilee Year of Mercy in spirituality and health

Arnold Van Vugt

LAST year in 1916, we celebrated the Jubilee Year of Mercy. We can ask the question “Why I am still not healed?” It is because of this question that today’s challenge of loving ad forgiving is very difficult.

After all, from where does the grace to be merciful come, if not from the experience of being shown mercy through salvation from sin (sickness of the spirit) and through healing from decease (sickness of the body)? One of the psalms in the Bible contains this beautiful line, “Have mercy on me, Lord, heal me, for I have sinned against you” (Psalm 41:4).” This verse is a plea following an admission of guilt. Amidst all the pain, grief and suffering, it is difficult to feel healed. Why?

There are steps to healing. Indeed, healing begins with awareness. This awareness must not only be limited to our own state of being but also come from our relationship with people, who are as much a part of us as our own body, mind and spirit.

As Jesus says in the Gospel, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (Matthew 6:14-14).

How are our relationships with people in our lives? In what areas do we need healing?

After awareness, another important step to healing is asking. To quote from Matthew 7:7, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Ever since then until now, this has been God’s invitation to us.

Throughout the Gospel and wherever he went, Jesus would have sick people coming to him and then becoming healed. He showed how healing is a continuous process.

If at one point we wonder, “Why am I still not healed?”, then perhaps somewhere along the way, we have stopped asking. Or perhaps we have become all too aware of being sick and we have lost faith that we would ever be healed. If so, it would be useful to remember the Law of Receiving. Expect to receive and you will. Do not expect to receive and you won’t.

Many of us are plagued by defeatist thinking. After all, it is so easy to say “Nothing will come out of this” or “I don’t deserve this anyway” or “This is not realistic”.

We do not feel healed because we do not open ourselves to the prospect and assurance of healing. We do not extend a hand and accept the gift which the Lord holds out to us.

Faith is the hand we extend to accept the Lord’s complete healing. To quote Hebrew 11:1, faith is “confidence in things hoped for and assurance in things not yet seen.” To be continued.

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