24 Sep 2020 • Articles
October is a time when the heatwaves of summer are over but the chill winds of winter have not yet begun. It is a time for late holidays and for early preparations for colder months.
October 18th is the feast day of St. Luke, St. Paul's 'Beloved Physician'. Luke probably came from Greece, and he may have been the inspiration for Paul's dream of a man calling to him, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' Luke's second book, the Acts of the Apostles, shows that he travelled with Paul to Philippi, Thessalonica, Athens and Corinth after this.
In his Gospel, Luke tells us about Jesus healing many different people. We don't know whether Jesus had very much knowledge of medical care or physiotherapy, but we do know that he gave everyone the greatest medicine of all, which is love, and he gave everyone free and generous prescriptions of the love of God. Unlike many ordinary medicines, love is pleasant and sweet, it is always safe to take and to share with everyone else, and its effects are never weakened by use. In fact, those who continue to receive and to share love become stronger and healthier in their souls, and often in their bodies, too.
It is characteristic of the generous love of God that Jesus was able to help many people even though they did not understand very much about him. Not everyone who was healed by Jesus realised they had been healed by love. Luke tells us of ten people who were cured of leprosy - nine of them hurried off immediately to return to their old lives, and only one stopped to say 'thank you'.
We often overlook all the little healings we receive, from the cuts and grazes of childhood to the major ailments which can also be quickly forgotten. Eventually our bodies do wear out - that is unavoidable in a physical world. The thought of death brings sadness to those who cling to what they have in this life as well as to those who naturally cling to people they care about, but if death comes at the end of a long life of love freely given and received it should also bring thanksgiving for the ultimate healing of entering upon the greater freedom of eternal life in God's kingdom. There all tears are wiped away, all infirmities are ended and we have a new life of strength and health for ever.