|Our Lady of Lourdes|
Our Lady appeared to Bernadette Soubirous in Lourdes and told Bernadette to pray and make sacrifices for sinners. She also revealed herself as the Immaculate Conception in her apparition to her on March 25, 1858. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was proclaimed by Pope Pius IX in 1854. The apparition was approved by the Bishop in January 18, 1860 and it has been the site where many miracles of healing happened. Our Lady also told Bernadette, I do not promise to make you happy in this world but in the other.
We are not made for this world. While we may experience a glimpse of heaven here on earth, the final and complete fullness of heaven is achieved in the next world. Which is why there will be sufferings in this world. We cannot escape it. While sufferings and sickness are not necessarily caused by our personal sins, these are caused by original sin. We see in the First Reading that God created the woman also without original sin. God showed us his plan for the woman: to be a helper of the man.
It is the same word used for God as our helper. It is not a word that means a servant or slave. It is a word that links the woman to Someone divine. Note I did not say she is divine, I said the woman is linked to Someone divine. God created her while the man was asleep. The First Reading tells us, out of Man, this one was taken. The wife then is someone who completes a man. While the man is to protect the woman to be the woman God wants her to be, the woman is to help the man be the person God wants him to be. This is a relationship that is mutually beneficial to both.
The Gospel shows us a Gentile mother whose little daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit. She came and bowed down at the feet of Jesus and begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. Here, we see what we said earlier that not all sickness is the result of personal sin. Her daughter was still little and yet was possessed. The daughter could not have sinned.
Jesus first ignored her and said let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs. To which she agreed: sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs. Jesus gave her what she asked when he heard this. This woman shows us how we can get the attention of Jesus:
- Come to Jesus. This is an act of faith. Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please God. For he that comes to God must believe that he is: and is a rewarder to them that seek him.
- Bow down at his feet. To bow at the feet of Jesus is to surrender everything to him. We let Jesus do as he wills for what we ask.
- Beg Jesus to do what we ask. In the case of the woman, she begged Jesus to cast the demon from her daughter. In asking, she still left Jesus to do as he wills such that when Jesus seemed to rebuke her, she agreed with him! Yet, she reasoned with Jesus.
This woman shows what faith is, total and complete surrender to God. This also is what our Lady of Lourdes did. She was totally committed to God that she surrendered her self to his will, letting God do to her as he wills, which is why God did great things for her, not because of her greatness, but because of her lowliness.
Today, even if we are not able to go to Church, we can still receive healing from God through the intercession of our Lady. We pray for the sinners and sacrifice for them, asking God to heal then spiritually. We pray for those affected by the lockdown and those suffering from Covid. Then we approach God to ask for our healing, be it spiritual or physical and we let God do what he wills.
Lord, like that Syrophoenician woman, I come to you to ask for the repentance of sinners. Heal them spiritually Lord and let them respond to your call. I pray for those who are sick and suffering. I also pray for myself. Only you know what I need and how I can be healed. Come to my life as I surrender it to you, for you to do as you will. Our Lady of Lourdes, the Immaculate Conception, pray to Jesus, that I may be healed.