During these past eight months since my injury, one of the greatest blessings of which I became aware was being a member in the family of the Church. So many people prayed for me; so many sent me cards and notes and visited me. Everyday a meal was lovingly prepared for me. People drove me to my appointments and performed tasks for me in the house that I could not do for myself. I who was a highly independent individual became completely dependent on others. I prayed to God for healing but God did not answer my prayer as requested. Nevertheless God did answer in a different way my prayer and the prayers of all those praying for me. I am by the grace of God walking.
I told my doctor that there are three things involved in healing and recovery if it is meant to be: the human body itself, medical intervention along with nursing care, and prayer.
Jesus says in Mark’ gospel that his family – his sister, his brother and his mother – are those “who do the will of God.” What is the will of God that makes us into a family? The will of God is first of all to believe – to have faith in the one true God and His Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord. Secondly it is to live a virtuous life (in spite of all our sins and failings). Thirdly it is to do good for others in this world. Fourthly, it is to offer all our sufferings to God. When we offer our sufferings to God we join our sufferings to those of Christ and actually participate in the redemption of the world.
Yes, during these past eight months I have experienced what it means to belong to the family of God in the Church. “Who are my mother and my brothers?” “And looking around at those seated in the circle he said: ‘Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.'”
Homily for Tenth Sunday in Ordinary Time