Doctors Heal, It's What They Do

This coming Saturday we celebrate the Feast of St. Matthew. In the account of Jesus' calling of Matthew (Matthew 9:9-13)we find Jesus being censured by the religious elite of the day due to his fraternizing with "sinners and tax collectors." This would be a rather frequent occurrence in Jesus' ministry; in fact, if you recall from Fr. Phillip's sermon on our Gospel reading two days ago, Jesus came to seek and to save those whom are lost, but to the legalistic Pharisees of Jesus day, these sinners and tax collectors weren't worth finding. Their adherence to an external, works-based system of gaining favor in the eyes of God led them to conclude that certain subsets of the society were irredeemable and were, therefore, a danger to the well-intentioned members of polite society.

Jesus shows the folly of that legalistic mindset when He deigns, not only to eat with these sinners and tax collectors but to call one from their ranks into his inner circle of 12 disciples. It's here where we get one of the most profound expressions from Jesus' of the scope of His love for humanity:

“Those who are well haveno need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matthew 9:12-13)

God desires to reconcile humanity back to himself, as we are, in the midst of our down-trodden and wounded condition. He doesn't need us to be healed before we come to Him, for He is the one that offers the healing to the sickness of the darkness that consumes us. How foolish we would be if we told a person suffering from cancer that they need to find a way to go into remission before they were worthy to enter the doctor's office and speak with the doctor? How heartless would it be if we ridiculed a doctor for daring to mingle with those who have an illness? We go to the doctor in order to be healed, just as we go to Jesus in order to be healed of the soul sickness and weariness that we have gained through our journey in this world.

Those around us aren't going to experience that healing if we aren't willing to step into the lives of those who are hurting.

May we seek out that healing in our own lives so we can help others find it in theirs.