Sermon – The Seventh Sunday of Luke
The Seventh Sunday of Luke
By V. Rev. Timothy Baclig
October 29, 2023
We will soon begin preparing for the Feast of the Birth of our Lord when the church prescribes forty days of abstinence, prayer and good works. She does this for a reason. It would help us to understand that if we are to do what God asks of us in helping others, our doing so is not based upon the abundance of things that we have or whether or not we have something to offer others. The church’s call and discipline to pray, fast and do good works during advent is based upon our own spiritual needs.
Even though we are blessed with much to be thankful for materially, we each have personal physical, emotional and spiritual needs. God created us as whole persons. Good mental health is attending to our inner life. That inner life is intricately linked to our physical and mental health. We can easily become fragmented as persons in our day—loosing a sense of being created as whole persons. When we need physical care—we go to the doctor. When we need psychological care—we seek a counselor or therapist. Then, when we need to build a relationship with God—we go to church. But God did not create us as fragmented persons who seek help compartmentally.
Moreover, for some, physical needs might be also be visible, especially if we are sick or have a disability, for others a conversation or facial expression might reveal an emotional need. But deep down inside of each of us are things we may not even speak about, or might have a very difficult time putting into words. That is what pertains to our “inner life” that can define our spiritual needs.
The daughter of Jarius in spoken of in today’s Gospel lesson was an only child, 12 years of age, and dying. The woman with the hemorrhage who, in a crowd of people, touched the hem of Jesus’ garment was desperate for healing. The needs of the woman and the daughter of Jarius were obviously physical. In both cases, their condition personally affected their emotional and spiritual life along with the lives of their loved ones and who knew them.
If a person’s physical health is serious, especially if it becomes a major drain to one’s resources and severely affects the lives of the members of their family, it is not uncommon for life to be largely defined by their physical condition; it dominates a personal conversation. Today, persons are often seen and identified not for who they truly are: men, women and children created in the image of God, but for what they may physically become: sick, unemployed, an addict, or perhaps: frail, strong, or attractive.
God, however, sees and knows us as persons. He loves us equally as His children as you and I would our own son or daughter. His supreme sacrifice for us was for that very reason: We are His own, called to be the inheritors of all that He has desired for us; regardless of whether we are old, young, rich, poor, healthy, or sick. We are all His children, created in His image to become the full inheritors as members of His Kingdom and to grow into His likeness.
We are known, loved, saved and redeemed by a God of love who came to save and heal us from every infirmity, but who also calls to be loving, His co-workers, His helpers and ministers and His fellow servants.
O Christ, our God, the giver of every good and perfect gift: grant that we may in fear and love draw near to Thee and receive the much needed healing from all of our infirmities. Forgive us our sins and strengthen us for Thy service that we may glorify Thee in every word and deed; for Thou art the God of love and of mercy and unto Thee do we ascribe glory together with Thy Father who is from everlasting, and Thy life-giving Spirit; now and ever and unto ages of ages. A-men.