“And when Jesus entered Peter’s house, he saw his mother-in-law lying sick with a fever; he touched her hand, and the fever left her, and she rose and served him. That evening they brought to him many who were possessed with demons; and he cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, ‘He took our infirmities and bore our diseases.’” (Matthew 8:14-17, RSV)
“And preach as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons.” (Matthew 10:7-8, RSV)
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. And every one who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3, RSV)
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8, RSV)
God created us as his glorious children, fashioned in his own image and likeness.
Please take a moment to let that truth sink in to your heart.
The devil, too, was created glorious. But through rebellion, he traded his God-bestowed splendor for wretched darkness. In his hatred for all creation he is determined to draw others into his rebellious misery, seducing us to take on his deformed image and likeness. He succeeded with Adam and Eve, and ever since that fateful moment, we have been in a violent war for the restoration of the Imago Dei, the Image of God. We cannot do this for ourselves. Only Jesus, in taking on our humanity, is able to restore God’s Divinity to human beings. Through his redemptive Blood and the gift of his Holy Spirit, we can be restored and healed.
Every single one of us has been wounded in this war that is raging around us and within us. We are all in need of healing and deliverance. Jesus knows this. His ultimate healing ministry took place on the Cross. Without the Cross there is no salvation. But it is crucial to remember that Jesus’ earthly ministry, prior to his final work, incorporated both teaching and healing. In fact, the two cannot be separated. They are one and the same. The Gospel, or Good News, consists not only in healing words, but also in miraculous acts of healing. Jesus wants us to live in wholeness and freedom here and now. He both warns and promises, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10, RSV) This brief verse sums up the entire battle that we are engaged in. It reveals the choice that we have to make. Every one of us is given the same choice that was presented to Adam and Eve. Will we choose life, or death? Will we choose obedience, or rebellion? Will we choose to trust that God has withheld nothing from us and that he himself has blessed us with his own image, or will we try to attain that image for ourselves apart from God’s free gift? In one way or another, we all choose the path of rebellion; we repeat the tragic scene in the Garden of Eden on a personal level. At the same time, we are frequently wounded by others who have chosen that path as well. But we need to keep getting up; we need to keep forgiving others and receiving God’s forgiveness, over and over again. God’s mercy and love is such that there is never a reason for despair. We only need to keep moving forward toward the Kingdom.
As a community, the Hawaii Benedictines strive to live the path of repentance and forgiveness. We also trust in the power and presence of the Holy Spirit within all baptized Christians. We know that the Holy Spirit moves miraculously in the lives and souls of those who surrender to him. We believe that Jesus is continuing his ministry of healing and deliverance in our day. We have all witnessed and experienced his healing in powerful ways, and we seek to share his transforming love with those who come to the monastery. If you are feeling Jesus calling to you, “Do you want to be healed?”, then we would be blessed to pray with you for the healing that Jesus is longing to work in you.