Focus : The God who sends us for mission
Event : World Day of Sick
In his homily on Divine Mercy Sunday on 12th April, 2015 in Rome, Pope Francis said that Jesus’ scars are full of mercy, and encourages us to imitate the apostle Thomas in touching them and allowing our hearts to be converted. The pope said, “The Lord shows us, through the Gospel, his wounds. They are wounds of mercy. It is true: the wounds of Jesus are wounds of mercy,” Jesus, he said, “invites us to behold these wounds, to touch them as Thomas did, to heal our lack of belief. Above all, he invites
us to enter into the mystery of these wounds, which is the mystery of his merciful love.”
Opening Hymn: JESUS, KEEP ME NEAR THE CROSS
- Jesus, keep me near the cross,
There a precious fountain—
Free to all, a healing stream—
Flows from Calv’ry’s mountain.
In the cross, in the cross,
Be my glory ever;
Till my raptured soul shall find
Rest beyond the river.
- Near the cross, a trembling soul,
Love and Mercy found me;
There the bright and morning star
Sheds its beams around me.
Opening prayer (Invite one of the BEC member).
The article below is by Kathryn C. Larisey, who is a psychotherapist, clinical
supervisor, and spiritual director in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Anxiety, dizziness, a sense of impending doom. What is happening to me? I am supposed to be hosting my daughter’s 8th birthday party. Instead, I am sitting on the edge of a hospital bed in the emergency room. Heart pounding, head down, hands clutched before me. What am I to make of all of this? I thought I was having a heart attack, but they are calling it Panic Disorder. What? Me? I have a disorder? This can’t be happening. I am a mother and a wife. I have a family to care for. They are counting on me. I pray for this terrifying moment to pass so that I can return to my household
duties. Into the hospital room walks a man dressed all in black with a white collar. He is a priest. With no introductions, he quietly takes a seat next to me on the bed. We sit together in silence for what seems like an eternity. “So you want to be a healer,” he says, interrupting the stillness. “What?” I ask. “You want to be a healer,” he says again. “It is moments such as this one wherein healers are born.” Eighteen years have passed since this priestly visitation. Simply, and with no fanfare, this humble parish priest was
articulating the typical energy of the Wounded Healer. It was a complete change in perspective for me. What I thought was a Journey Up was really a Journey Down. The Path of Ascent was really a Path of Descent. The most skillful clinician, rather than being a strong and capable model of good health, is one who has suffered from all sorts of illnesses and is being transformed by those agonies. This shift in the perspective of the healer is at the core of Carl Jung’s writings. In his chapter entitled Fundamental Questions of Psychotherapy he explains: We could say, without too much
exaggeration, that a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient. This, and nothing else, is the meaning of the wounded healer. Carl Jung could not be clearer. A psychotherapist’s own experience of being wounded is what helps her face the suffering client in empathy. Carl Jung is suggesting that the therapist’s “mental health” is not presumed “superior.” To sit quietly and hear a client’s pain acknowledges a mutual helplessness to “do” anything to make it go away.
Buzz with the person next to you:
- Based on the above article and as a Christian, will my own experience of being wounded make me better empathize with others who are wounded?
- What does the phrase ‘By his wounds, you have been healed’ mean to you.
Isaiah 53: 4-7
4 Yet ours were the sufferings he was bearing, ours the sorrows he was carrying, while
we thought of him as someone being punished and struck with affliction by God;
5 whereas he was being wounded for our rebellions, crushed because of our guilt; the
punishment reconciling us fell on him, and we have been healed by his bruises.
6 We had all gone astray like sheep, each taking his own way, and Yahweh brought
the acts of rebellion of all of us to bear on him.
7 Ill-treated and afflicted, he never opened his mouth, like a lamb led to the slaughterhouse,
like a sheep dumb before its shearers he never opened his mouth.
- READ the text aloud and LISTEN with openness.
- READ it silently by yourself until a word or phrase touches or strikes you.
- What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through the word or phrase?
- What do you say to the Lord in response to his Word?
- Share in small groups (3-4 persons) the verse that has touched you.
Discuss how we, in spite of our own wounds, challenges & pains can we be of help to others in our family, BEC, parish and society.
Closing prayer (Invite one of the BEC members).
Closing Hymn: VICTORY
O Cross, reign victorious!
O Cross, Thou wilt redeem us.
- For all who yearn to see
Give light, let darkness cease.
True source of liberty
O Cross, God’s seal of peace. (Chorus)
- Renew our strength and valour
Uplift the downcast man.
Prize hope in life’s dark hour
To darkness life the span. (Chorus)
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