It is impossible to look at a newspaper without seeing reports on new medical breakthroughs – or the latest schemes for losing weight and getting physically fit.
Pope Francis admits that caring for the body is important but so also is caring for the spirit.
The bottom line: Life relies on a relationship with God, the source of spiritual healing, the source of forgiveness.
The Holy Father based his January 17, 2020, homily at Mass in Casa Santa Marta in the Vatican on the story of the miraculous healing of the paralytic described in the second chapter of the Gospel of Mark. It is a familiar story and among the most often cited of the Lord’s healings:
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Pope Francis focused on the keywords: “Your sins are forgiven.” And the story goes on to explain that the paralyzed man got up from his mat and walked away healed.
Francis mentioned some of the other great healing from the Gospel: the sick man at the pool who couldn’t get to the water; the sinful and weeping woman; the Samaritan woman at the well. Each was healed and their sins were forgiven.
It is simple when Jesus goes to the essentials, the Pope said. Both a healthy body and a healthy soul are needed. A doctor can heal the body but it is Jesus who can heal the soul.