God’s Healing Hand At Work In The Medical Mission

Christians were raised by God to respond to his mission of building the Church, first by raising the church of the family and more recently, by building the church of the poor.

The start of every year sends a renewed call to be united in its work and mission, to be of one heart and one mind in responding to God's call. As if by design, the call to build His church was made in the midst of a series of national crises that brought to fore the divisiveness and moral decay that afflicts our society. It was an affirmation that we are indeed a sick society in need of healing and rebuilding.

Mission of Christ

As Jesus moved around during His Galilean ministry, He went about “ ….. teaching in the synagogue, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and curing every disease and illness among the people.” (Matthew 4:23) While many of Jesus' healing miracles were physical in nature, the full meaning of restoration was in reality a call to repentance, spiritual healing and a turning back to God.

Christ was moved with pity by the plight of the poor, the sick, the lonely and the forgotten. To all He offered liberation from sin and announced the good news of salvation.

Heirs to the Mission

Many instances of miraculous healing are mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles. These miracles attest to the power of Christ being passed on to his apostles and disciples. The same power to heal through the power of the Holy Spirit continues in our day. We can also learn from the life and work of St. Luke who is a prime example of a zealous worker for God's vineyard. He had multifaceted roles as a disciple, an evangelizer, gospel author and not least of all, a physician-healer.

As heirs to the mission, physicians and health caregivers should pattern their lives and works after the model set by Luke. We cannot all be gospel writers but we can all minister to the sick and be Christ's disciples at the same time. Today's clergy, as direct descendants of the apostles and the laity, representing the greater body of disciples, continue to faithfully carry out the task of healing and of being gospel proclaimers as disciples of Christ.

" ... the poor is my vineyard"

Because Christ loved the poor, He lived as one among them. As a carpenter, he worked with His hands and with the same hands, He healed the sick. He was always moved with pity and demonstrated empathy for the marginalized.

Work with the poor provides a rich and fertile soil for God's vineyard here on earth. Serving the poor and doing works of mercy for them help us remain anchored to the work of Christ. Events in the world represented the ventilation of the utter frustration, anger and hopelessness of the poor.

Christian groups, in living out the call to evangelize and bring glad tidings to the poor, took the lead in bringing to reality total human liberation under the providence of God. Caring for the poor is not longer an option nor an occasional endeavor. It is an integral part of the mission of the religious communities. The proper response is to be resolute and to take on the responsibility of committing our very selves into the work. It cannot be lived out vicariously.

When we speak of the poor as God's own vineyard, we allude to them as His chosen part of human creation. When farmers take notice of fertile soil, they take handfuls of the earth in their hands, inhale its richness and declare: “This is good and fertile soil.” To God, the poor of the world is its fertile soil. To be in solidarity with the poor, we have to be with them, work with them, internalize their plight, and make their concerns our concerns. We must accept their grime and their unwashed sweaty bodies if we are to share in the poverty of spirit.

Our response

Confronted with the stark reality of a deeply divided nation, our only response is to face the problem squarely and to mobilize for the gigantic task ahead. As part of God's army, health caregivers must make a determined response. Everyone must participate actively and remain committed all throughout. As health caregivers, we must not only be healers of broken bodies, we must also be part of the nation building process.

The Strategy for the Mission

1. Volunteer and enlist. Like in any army, warm bodies are needed. We need to come forward and express our willingness and commitment to be part of the healing process.

2. Mobilize. Since the challenge is massive and the task is for the long haul, we need to build up our resources. We need to embark on strategic evangelization where we are able to identify physicians and other health caregivers in our evangelization work. Offer to start and support strategic Christian Life Programs in hospital premises.

3. Sharpen your skills. A key to preparedness is sharpening skills by training and practice. We can sharpen these by doing work in our GK areas' health programs. Be part of medical-surgical missions nationwide.

4. Be part of a network of health caregivers. Your participation in health care delivery system will contribute a great deal to making the nationwide medical mission ministry work successful.

5. Develop and hold the “front line”. Determine areas where the twin works of physical healing and spiritual evangelization are still left largely unserved. Once these are identified, develop these areas in terms of health delivery and evangelization.

"Blessed are the peacemakers (and healers of the land) for they shall be called "children of God"'

The challenge is great and the task ahead is even greater. We must respond boldly and confidently. Let us not forget what we have often been told: Whomever the Lord calls, He empowers. Whomever He empowers, He equips.

Religion | Christianity | Society

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