As I read and reflected upon Bishop Caggiano’s homily at the Synod on Young People, the Faith, and Vocational Discernment, I was reminded of one of my favorite passages in Luke’s gospel.
Luke Chapter 13:10-17 tells the story of a woman who was burdened by a disabling spirit for eighteen years, so much so that she was physically bent over.
We don’t know much about this woman. We know that she was a woman of faith, for she was at the synagogue on the Sabbath. We don’t know exactly what her disabling spirit was, we just know that it manifested itself in a physical way, as “She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself” (Luke 13:11b).
Jesus saw her and called out to her. So also to us. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3).
At a time when both women and those with disabilities were outcasts, He called her over to Him. Our infirmities are never too disabling or too many that He would not call out to us, bring us to Himself, lay His hands on us, heal us.
For He is the divine physician.
He said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability” (Luke 13:12b). “He laid His hands on her and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God” (Luke 13:13).
She was made straight. She glorified Him. So must we, in all that we do, so that others may also know His healing love.
Bishop Caggiano said, “For Christ alone is the Divine Physician who can truly heal us with His love. It is Christ who is the face of Mercy Himself. It is His gift of loving mercy, offered not as object to be received but a share in His very life, that can enlighten our minds, comfort us in our doubts, give consolation in our suffering and forgive the burden of our sins.”
One of the topics being discussed during the Synod is how youth and young adults are searching for a sense of belonging. To be loved, affirmed, and accepted for who they are. Their hearts are yearning for the unconditional, healing love that only God can give.
And He offers it to us with open arms. He offers us healing, just as He did to the woman with the disabling spirit.
At a time when many in our Church are broken-hearted, we can turn to the divine physician.
“My friends, we cannot truly heal anyone on our own. Only Christ brings authentic and lasting healing. Luke understood this and lived his life serving as a simple channel of Christ’s mercy. As a true physician, Luke healed broken hearts not by anything he did on his own but by allowing the Lord’s mercy to flow through all that he did,” Bishop Caggiano explained in his homily.
But we can show others the true path to healing. We can lead them to the Lord, the divine physician who heals the brokenhearted.
“St. Luke challenges us to offer our feet, eyes, hands, talents and knowledge to be channels of God’s mercy, so that broken hearts can be healed,” bishop said.
Bishop Caggiano implored his brother bishops gathered at the Synod with him, “Let us bring God’s mercy into the world, one broken heart at a time.”
I feel that this is a challenge for us all. Let us accept God’s healing love for us and think of who we can invite into the joy of His mercy.
By: Elizabeth Clyons, Communications Associate for the Diocese of Bridgeport