The E-catechism: April 1998
Each month the team working on this catechism presents you with two texts, and we hope that with your help and cooperation they will improve. Any suggestions you may have would be most welcome, as would ideas on subject matter.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Historically speaking, it is certain that Jesus, unlike John the Baptist, cured the sick. The New Testament finds in these cures the proof of the divine power that inhabits Jesus. An indisputable proof that is placed before any religious theory.
However, in the Gospel of Mark (6,5) it is said that at Nazareth "He was not able to perform any miracles there, except that he placed his hands on a few sick people and healed them".
In effect, Jesus cured with all the force that was necessary in order to give confidence to those who listened to him.
If, as in the first letter of Saint John (4,8) we name God "Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love", one may truly say that Jesus was capable, together with the power of that God, to dominate the sick-making stages of fear. Psychic and psychosomatic fears.
Jesus always spoke of God in this way, to the people. What he wanted was that all feelings of anguish - solitude, despair, - going as far as self-destruction, should transform themselves in an acceptance of the self, a form of maturity, of serenity, opening up onto a new relationship towards oneself and towards others.
By breaking free of the chains of a rigid religion that itself produced fear, Jesus became the object of reproach. He was accused of revolt against God, it was said that his cures where a type of black magic, that he was under the influence of the chief of the demons (Mc 3,22). But for Jesus, the cure of the sick at heart meant that God had become alive in the hearts of human beings. For him, trust in God and the liberation of humankind from its fears could not be separated from one another.
This ministry of the cure was entrusted by Jesus to his apostles when he sent them to Galilee: ..."The disciples left and travelled through all the villages, preaching the Good News and healing people erverywhere" (Luke 9,6).
This is how Jesus demonstrated how important he felt was the care of the soul, a real therapy, by trying to understand what is lacking in the fulfilment of human beings, instead of condemning them with moral judgements on their faults and their weaknesses.
When Christians gather in friendship and in prayer, they are ready to receive the Spirit that gives life.