Hope in the Lord


If we should ever feel especially discouraged by some spiritual illness which seems incurable, let us not forget these consoling words of Jesus: "They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. Everything can be cured. He is always very close to us, but especially in those moments, no matter how great the fault, even if the miseries are many. It is enough to be truly sincere.

Let us not forget this either if at times in our personal apostolate it seems to us that someone has an illness of the soul with no apparent solution. There is always a solution. Perhaps the Lord expects from us more prayer and mortification, more understanding and affection.

All your diseases will be cured," says St. Augustine, "but there are so many of them," you will say. More powerful is the Physician. For the Almighty there is no insurmountable illness; you only let yourself be cured, put yourself in his hands "16.

We must come to Him like those simple people who surrounded Him. Like the blind, the lame, the paralysed..., who ardently desired to be healed. Only those who know and feel themselves to be stained experience the deep need to be cleansed; only those who are aware of their wounds and sores experience the urgency to be healed. We must feel the urge to heal those points that our general or particular examination of conscience teaches us must be healed.

Matthew left his old life that day to begin a new life with Christ. Today we can make our own this prayer of St. Ambrose: "Like him, I too want to leave my old life and follow no one else but you, Lord, who heal my wounds. Who can separate me from the love of God that is manifested in you...? I am bound to faith, nailed to it; I am bound by the holy bonds of love. All your commandments will be like a bandage that I will always keep attached to my body...; the medicine stings, but it keeps the infection away from the sore. Therefore, Lord Jesus, cut away the rottenness of my sins. While Thou holdest me in the bonds of love, cut off all that is festering. Come quickly to cut out the hidden, secret, and manifold passions; cut out the wound, lest the disease spread to the whole body.

"I have found a physician who dwells in Heaven, but distributes his medicines on earth. He alone can heal my wounds, for he does not suffer from them; he alone can remove sorrow from the heart and fear from the soul, for he knows the innermost things."

Many of Matthew's friends who were with Jesus at that banquet would have felt welcomed and understood by the Lord's kind treatment. He would undoubtedly show them unique signs of friendship. Later, they would be converted to him wholeheartedly and would fully accept his teaching, which forced them to change their lives on many points. They would become part of the early community of Christians in Palestine. Matthew's friends met the Master at a banquet. Jesus always took advantage of every circumstance to lead people to salvation. In this we should also imitate him in our personal apostolate.