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In the Gospel of St. John chapter 10, Jesus tells us that he came so that we may have life and have it abundantly. And so when confronted with human suffering, such as symbolised in the leper who came to him, Jesus was at once outraged, aroused with anger and moved with pity. He answered the leper who said "If you want, you can cure me" with the statement, "Of course I want, be cured." We could hear the same consoling words of Jesus in our various circumstances today.

 

Of course I want you to be saved. So come to me all of you who are lost, confused or frightened in a world of multiple tragedies and chronic illnesses and diseases. Yes I truly want you to save you. So come now, those of you who experience hunger in the depth of your being, and those of you who thirst for ultimate meaning, come and see that I am the Bread of Life, without whom men and women will starve to death, and I am the Water of Life that satisfies all thirst. Those of you who are suffering the debilitation of sicknesses and diseases, come and see for yourself that I am the Prime Healer by whose wounds you shall be healed and by whose stripes you shall be made whole.

 

Of course I want to heal you of your headaches, your agitation and your anxieties. I want to heal you of your asthmatic attacks, your delicate heart conditions, your irregular blood pressure and your diabetes. I want to heal you of your incessant malaria and typhoid fever attacks. I want to heal you of your ear, nose and throat problems. I want to heal you of your eye problems. I want to heal you of the congestion you experience in your chest, and the difficulty you have with breathing. I want to heal you of your kidney problems, of all the problems with lungs, your liver and your prostrate glands, problems with the womb, the intestine, and the various tubes in your body. I want to heal you of your blood sugar problems.

 

Yes I want to take away the humiliation of childlessness and infertility from you.  I want to heal you of arthritis and the various diseases of the nerves and the bones. Come to me, for I have come to stitch together the torn nerves and mend the broken bodies of fragmented humanity. With me there are no incurable illnesses, so even cancer patients and Aids patients, come to me for your healing. Those of you who like me are outraged by the debilitation of illnesses are tired of the prevalent death wish in the world, come to me and see that I am the Resurrection and the Life, and that I bring the good news of new life to everyone.

 

Of course I want you to be saved. Have no doubt about my good will. Abandon your old life of selfishness and sin, which has brought upon you so much pain and frustration. Come and experience the abundant life which I give freely.

 

Come to me; turn around from an existence of drudgery and misery, violence and death. Let me take away your shame. Let me cleanse you of your terrible defilement. Come and receive the tremendous gift of health and life which I offer you graciously. Come and be my companion in the wholesome life of holiness and peace.  Of course I want to heal you of sin and all the consequences of sin that debilitate you. For that is why I came into the world. I came to wage a fierce war not only against your physical illnesses and diseases, but also against man's inhumanity to man, bad governments, dictatorships, social injustice, violence and war.

 

I came to combat pride, arrogance, envy, jealousy, hatred, pettiness, idolatry, adultery, fornication, falsehood, nepotism, ethnicism, male chauvinism, greed, avarice, and oppression. I came to wage a war against selfishness in all its manifestations, to dislodge social injustice in all its dimensions, and to dismantle violence in all its forms. I am full of pity for men and women, created in the image of God, but who are so defiled by sin. I came to redeem humanity that is so poisoned by hatred. I came to liberate the world that is so trapped in darkness. I came to bring about a new creation, to redirect the world towards its pristine purity,

and to help you to re-claim your lost glory. Of course I want you to be cured of all these, for I have come that you may have life and have it to the full.

 

Do you still wonder if I want to cure you? Don't you believe that I am the wonderful healer by whose wounds you have been healed and by whose stripes you have been made whole? Of course I want to heal not only your physical wounds, but also your spiritual, moral, psychological and emotional wounds. Of course I want to heal also your social and political illnesses and diseases; the wounds of injustice, repression, political manipulation, social exclusion and systemic corruption in your society. Today I want to heal the chronic ulcers and gangrenous sores inflicted by greed and avarice on your educational institutions and your social infrastructures. Yes indeed, I want to heal the deep wounds inflicted upon the psyche of your youths who today are turning to secret cults, violent crimes and drug addiction.

 

The decision to follow Jesus will mean a fundamental transformation in the way we look at the victims of the various sicknesses and diseases that plague the world, and our role in alleviating the sufferings of those involved. All those who wish to follow Jesus must see the face of Jesus in those who suffer and be committed to doing all that is within their power to comfort the afflicted, to stitch torn nerves and to mend broken bones. They must constantly hear the words of the Gospel, "When I was sick you visited me ... and… As you did it to the least of my brethren, you did it to me…” (Mt.25:31-46). It is in this way that we shall be harbingers of the new civilisation of love.

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