I had the pleasure of briefly introducing the Encounter School of Healing at the Masses this past weekend. I’ve also been blessed to attend their conferences as well as several others that I would call, “supernaturally charged”. If there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s that God has so much more for His people! Many of us would say we believe in miracles, but do we expect to see them or even participate in bringing them about? We were taught by our priests in recent homilies that we are prophets. Do we put this gift into practice? For the majority of Catholics the answer to these questions is a resounding “no.” Many of us are only vaguely aware that these things still occur and are under the assumption that they are reserved for “special people.” That’s not what the Church professes and it’s not what Jesus expects of His disciples!
If you believe in Jesus, you are that special person. In Mark 16:17-18, for example, Jesus says, “And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” And in John 14:12, “whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these….” The Bible repeatedly reminds us that we are to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit. Another example is 1 Corinthians 12:7, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” It is such a delight to see the Church embracing Her gifts. I have attended healing services where cancer has been verifiably cured, hearing has been restored, and individuals that come in with a cane or walker end up running through the aisles. At a recent conference on prophetic ministry, a total stranger who was exercising this gift for the first time told me specific details about my life that he could not possibly have known except for the action of the Holy Spirit. Jesus himself accompanied His teachings with visible signs of God’s power.
In a bulletin article for Most Holy Trinity Parish, Kayla Nelson cites 70 instances of healings, miracles, and deliverance from evil spirits in the Gospel of Mark. That’s 70 instances in 16 chapters! What if we were to employ His method of evangelization? Imagine the hearts that would turn to God. A friend and I were recently pondering and discussing the relationship between God’s desire for each of us to walk in the power of the Spirit and His command that we “take up our cross” and follow Jesus. Do we ask for healing or offer up our suffering? I prayed about this in Eucharistic Adoration and I felt the Lord say, “ Look at My early Church. What do you see?” What I see is the early Christians boldly proclaiming the Gospel and working wondrous deeds. At the same time, they were all in; willing to endure whatever came their way in order to build the Kingdom. All you holy men and women, pray for us!