1. Simon's Mother-in-Law (Mk 1:29-32)
2. The Healing of the Leper (Mk 1:40-45)
3. The Paralytic (Mk 2:1-12)
4. The Cripple (Mk 3:1-6)
5. Jairus' Daughter and the Woman Suffering from a
Hemorrhage (Mk 5:21-43)
6. The Deaf-Mute (Mk 7:31-37)
7. The Blind Man (Mk 8:22-26)
8. Many Sick People (Mt 15:29-31)
9. The Servant of the Roman Centurion (Mt 8:5-13)
10. The Two Blind Men (Mt 9:27-31)
11. The Blind and Mute Man (Mt 12:22-23)
12. The Two Blind Men from Jericho (Mt 20:29-34)
13. The Hunchbacked Woman (Lk 13:10-13)
14. The Man with Dropsy (Lk 14:1-6)
15. The Ten Lepers (Lk 17:11-19)
16. Malchus (Lk 22:50-51)
17. The Son of the Royal Official, (Jn 4:46-54)
18. The Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, (Jn
19. The Man Born Blind, (Jn 9:1-7)
20. The Resurrection of Lazarus, (Jn 11:38-44)
1. Simon's Mother-in-Law (Mk 1:29-32).
"Then, coming out of the Synagogue, they entered the house of Simon
and Andrew, with James and John. Simon's mother-in-law was in bed, with a fever,
and they immediately told [Jesus]. And, on arriving, he took her by the hand and
had her get up, and the fever left her at once and she set about serving them"
begin these commentaries on Jesus' healing people of illnesses with St. Mark's
Gospel. The first healing of an illness which we encounter involves St. Peter's
mother-in-law. The Lord starts in the intimacy of the home. Peter's wife must
have been very grateful. In the depiction of creation found in the Sistine
Chapel, the manifestation of life for all mankind flows from contact between
God's finger and man's; in the family circle, from contact between Christ's hand
and the hand of the sick woman there flow healing and health, affection and
grateful recognition, as a prelude to the resurrection of the Lord. Peter must
have told Mark about it in this manner: the woman sets about serving. The fact
is that the gratitude of those saved by Christ can only translate into service
to the Lord Jesus.
2. The Healing of the Leper (Mk 1:40-45)
a leper came to him beseeching him, and kneeling said to him: If you will, you
can make me clean. Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him,
and said to him: I will; be clean. And immediately the leprosy left him, and he
was made clean. And he sternly charged him, and sent him away at once, and said
to him: See that you say nothing to any one; but go, show yourself to the
priest, and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to the
people. But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the
news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in the
country; and people came to him from every quarter."
We say that,
where there's a will, there's a way, but we are often wrong. Only in Jesus is
there truly a way where there is a will. In addition to physical illness, the
Lord heals social marginalization and provides new forms of community life for
men who are cut off from their people. His miracles are a public matter and are
reflected in social life. And it is a new consensus that He creates: He could
not enter into any town because his fame preceded him. He has also cured us.
Has the announcement to the world of our healing created this consensus among
people in such a way that all cast themselves at the feet of the Lord as the
only who saves? There is talk of the health of the earth and the fact that,
along with the earth's illness, the sickness of all of us is appearing as well.
The only one who can heal the earth in its ecosystem is Jesus Christ, for he is
the only one who can make men stop destroying our planet, by way of both the
devastation of natural resources and pollution from radioactive residues and
other substances on the part of the major powers. He is the only one who can
heal this new leprosy, through the great precept that we must truly love one
3. The Paralytic(Mk 2:1-12)
he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.
And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not
even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came,
bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get
near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they
had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And
when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins
are forgiven. "¿Now some of the scribes were sitting there,
questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is
blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus,
perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to
them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to
the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, take up your pallet
and walk'? 1 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to
forgive sins"--he said to the paralytic-- "I say to you, rise, take up
your pallet and go home. "And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet
and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God,
saying, "We never saw anything like this!"
At the World Health Organization, health is defined as a state of
physical, mental, and social well-being. The bonds linking physical, mental, and
social well-being are fundamental. Christ is perfectly aware of this: there is a
deep connection between forgiveness of sins and the paralytic's standing
upright. Maladies, illnesses, and pains affect man in his full depth--indeed,
the source of all evils lies in the complete disorder of the person which is
called sin. It is a truth which seemed foreign to contemporary thought, but we
now see its enduring value. There is a tie between sin and physical
maladies--not necessarily in a given individual, but in mankind, taken as a
whole. This is what the Redemption brought by Christ consists of: to remove the
evil in the world as a whole. This is the meaning of the Resurrection: the
paralytic rises from his stretcher and goes to live in his true home, which will
be built in his absolute future.
4. The Cripple (Mk 3:1-6)
entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they
watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might
accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here."
And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do
harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around
at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch
out your hand." He stretched it ou t, and his hand was restored. The
Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Hero'di-ans against
him, how to destroy him.
Free time is quite important in today's
society, but its importance derives from the fact that it is free for an
encounter with God and others and that it can be sacred time and, therefore,
truly free. We are often crippled by conventions which contemporary consumer
society has imposed upon us, and we must now manifest the freedom to reach out
and be human: to encounter God and our brothers and sisters. This involves the
day of rest, the day when, though we do not work, we do not waste time, either,
but ar e able to build ourselves up in freedom, particularly by opening
ourselves to the infinite horizon of God and dealing with the concrete needs of
our brothers and sisters on earth. We must recover the deep meaning of the
sacredness of time.
5. Jairus' Daughter and the Woman Suffering from a
And when Jesus had crossed again in the boat to the other
side, a great crowd gathered about him; and he was beside the sea. Then came
one of the rulers of the synagogue, Ja'irus by name; and seeing him, he fell at
his feet, and besought him, saying, "My little daughter is at the point of
death. Come and lay your hands on her, so that she may be made well, and live."
And he went with him. And a great crowd followed him and thronged about him.
And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twe lve years, and who
had suffered much under many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was
no better but rather grew worse. She had heard the reports about Jesus, and
came up behind him in the crowd and touched his garment. For she said, "If
I touch even his garments, I shall be made well." And immediately the
hemorrhage ceased; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease.
And Jesus, perceiving in himself that power had gone forth from him,
immediately turned about in the crowd, and said, "Who touched my garments?"
And his disciples said to him, "You see the crowd pressing around you, and
yet you say, 'Who touched me?'" And he looked around to see who had done
it. But the woman, knowing what had been done to her, came in fear and
trembling and fell down before him, and told him the whole truth. And he said
to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be
healed of your disease." While he was still speaking, there came from the
ruler's house some who said, "Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the
Teacher any further?"
But ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, "Do
not fear, only believe." And he allowed no one to follow him except Peter
and James and John the brother of James. When they came to the house of the
ruler of the synagogue, he saw a tumult, and people weeping and wailing loudly.
And when he had entered, he said to them, "Why do you make a tumult and
weep? The child is not dead but sleeping."
And they laughed at him.
But he put them all outside, and took the child's father and mother and those
who were with him, and went in where the child was. Taking her by the hand he
said to her, "Tal'itha cu'mi"; which means, "Little girl, I say
to you, arise." And immediately the girl got up and walked (she was twelve
years of age), and they were immediately overcome with amazement. And he
strictly charged them that no one should know this, and told them to give her
something to eat.
Illness, in both the girl and the woman suffering
from a hemorrhage, tends towards death, and death imposes itself in all its
terrible reality. St. Mark brings us to experience this expressiveness-his very
vivid accounts help us virtually to be present there and take part in events.
And they help us to listen to Jesus Christ, who is asking us to have faith. For
without faith we cannot understand these miracles, since not only do they lead
us to observe that the cure of the woman with a hemorrhage and the r esurrection
of Jairus' daughter have taken place, but we must confront the faith option in
order to arrive at our own cure and our own resurrection.
Indeed, St. Mark,
in these miracles of healing, situates us before the practical value of the
resurrection of Christ Our Lord Himself, not as something distant constituting a
nebulous historical occurrence, but as the reason for our whole existence.
Christ rose from the dead. That is why He raises up others and cures them, and
will cure and raise us up as well. This twofold miracle must not leave us as
mere spectators, but is performed to involve us in its dynamic and hurl us into
the deepest faith in Chri st, the Risen One, who is such because He raises us
This is the perspective in which we are to understand the miracles of
healing. It is the presence of the word of life in the face of the
desolation of death, and the victory of the Word, Christ, over
our muteness, our death. It is the ever-present, joyful newness of the key
announcement of the whole Gospel: we have risen in the Risen Christ.
6. The Deaf-Mute (Mk 7:31-37)
returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon tothe Sea of Galilee,
through the region of the Decap'olis. And they brought to him a man who was
deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand
upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers
into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he
sighed, and said to him, "Eph'phatha," that is, "Be opened."
And his ears were opened, his tongue was re leased, and he spoke plainly. And
he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously
they proclaimed it. And they were astonished beyond measure, saying, "He
has done all things well; he even makes the deaf hear and the dumb speak.
Jesus adapted to the language of the deaf-mute so as to be understood by him. He
touched the latter's ears and tongue, and by way of the sense of touch enabled
him to grasp the wonder He was about to perform. The primitive community was so
impressed by this miracle that it attached deep significance to it and
incorporated Christ's action into the Baptismal Rite, where the minister touches
the ears and mouth of the persons to be baptized to signify that they will hear
the Word of God and be able to declare his praises. In this deaf-mute the
Church, by way of the liturgy, has seen mankind as deaf to God and unable to
declare its praise of Him. This is the reality we are experiencing with
secularism-a humanity deaf to the Gospel message, not hearing it and finding no
meaning therein. It is necessary for God to manifest his liberating power
through Baptism so that humanity will again listen to the wonders which the Lord
has reserved for all, and it is also necessary for men's tongues to be set free
so that they may bear witness to this fact.
7. The Blind Man (Mk 8:22-26)
came to Beth-sa'ida. And some people brought to him a blind man, and begged him
to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the
village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked
him, "Do you see anything?" And he looked up and said, "I see
men; but they look like trees, walking." Then again he laid his hands upon
his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly.
And he sent him away to his home, saying, "Do not even enter the village
This is another miracle of healing in which Christ Our Lord used
perceptible actions within the grasp of the one to be healed. An advance by
degrees may also be applied to faith: the more this man believes, the more the
miracle is accomplished in him. And as regards sensibility, he reminds us of
what we term popular religiosity, where we see signs, touch, hear, and
experience. The whole person is involved in faith, and the whole person makes a
commitment. We do not believe only in an intellectual manner, b ut with our
entire physical, psychic, mental, and social personality. God, the Invisible
One, has become visible in Christ, and this visibility is also experienced in
the miracles Christ performed to restore health, narrated so vividly by St. Mark
8. Many Sick People (Mt 15:29-31)
"Jesus left there and went along the Sea of Galilee. Then he went up
on a mountainside and sat down. Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame,
the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet;
and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the
crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the
God of Israel."
This is a revelation to the pagan peoples of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
This is the meaning of "going up the mountain." In biblical language,
it is on the mountain that God's revelation and presence are experienced. The
Messiah's action is to free us from sin and its consequences, such as disease.
The Messianic period thus began with healings of every kind and culminates in
the resurrection. It is not that a given illness in a given person is due to a
specific sin; rather, disease in general is due to the situation of sin in
which mankind has existed since the sin of the first man. We are now freed in
Christ. If illnesses still exist, they possess a different connotation. They
are positive forces joined to Christ's cross to produce the resurrection. Their
presence spurs us to struggle to bring about their disappearance and thus attain
the health which Christ offers us. Even death will disappear thanks to Christ's
9. The Servant of the Roman Centurion
When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for
help. "Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in
Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him."
The centurion replied, "Lord, I do not deserve to have you come
under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I
myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,'
and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do
this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was astonished and said to those following
him, "I tell you the truth, I have not found anyone in Israel with such
great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and
will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the
kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into
the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."
Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you
believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.
In the world we are destined to live in, we orient ourselves by what we
see. When health is involved, we seek medicines and doctors, and our
expectations of obtaining health depend on the demonstrated properties of one
medicine or another. Something quite different is the case here. It is a matter
of advancing towards complete confidence. Jesus Christ is the master of life
and proceeds with it like a military officer with his subordinates: He orders
it to come or depart. This amounts to saying that Jesus Christ is God, for only
God is the master of life. This captain believed, and his servant was healed.
And this captain entered into the Kingdom of God. Such is the faith needed to
10. The Two Blind Men
As Jesus went on from there, two blind men followed him, calling out, "Have
mercy on us, Son of David!"
When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, "Do
you believe that I am able to do this?"
"Yes, Lord," they replied.
Then he touched their eyes and said, "According to your faith will
it be done to you"; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them
sternly, "See that no one knows about this." But they went out and
spread the news about him all over that region
When these two blind men called Jesus "son of David," they
confessed that He was the Messiah, in contrast to his enemies, who did not want
to accept Himthat is, the blind men saw before being healed. The restoration of
sight to the blind was one of the clear signs that the Messianic period had
come. It was then only a matter of bringing about the consequences: the blind
men believed in the Messiah and were healed of their blindness. And,
paradoxically, Christ's enemies, whose eyes were healthy, did not see, whereas
the blind did. A question necessarily arises: Do we see Christ in the culture
of our time? Or are we blindthat is, without faith? With faith everything
changes. Contemporary culture will manifest Christ, and we shall find Him
everywhere as our Savior.
11. The Blind and Mute Man
Then they brought him a demon-possessed man who was blind and mute, and
Jesus healed him, so that he could both talk and see. All the people were
astonished and said, "Could this be the Son of David?"
The world of darkness envelopes us in silence. Whoever sees speaks and
bears witness. Jesus brings us to see and speak because his wonders may not
remain in silence, but burst forth in the praise of witness. Whoever has seen
Jesus in this world of faith is duty-bound to testify in the contemporary
world. Cowardice often disguises itself as reserve whereby the believer does
not dare to bear witness. It is not just a matter of speaking, but of making
one's life a thorough affirmation of what one is. It involves making today's
culture a manifestation of Christ by way of all of us who believe in Him.
12. The Two Blind Men from Jericho
As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed
him. Two blind men were sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus
was going by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
The crowd rebuked them and told them to be quiet, but they shouted all
the louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!"
Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?"
"Lord," they answered, "we want our sight."
Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they
received their sight and followed him.
The whole mystery of God in Jesus is summarized in the request by these
two blind men: "Son of David"that is, "Messiah""Have
mercy""Undergo our own illnesses and sufferings." They implored
God, who in Christ has become God-with-us. The people held them backso often in
contemporary culture people think that turning to God is a sign of feebleness
proper to the weak, worthy of reproof because it means wasting time, and so on.
The blind men recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the only one capable of
providing a solution for their blindness. The only solution for the blindness of
a poorly understood "pluralism" is Christ. He is the only way out.
And the solution does not come through condescension marked by "superiority"
without commitment, but through the maximum commitment: Christ arrived at the
darkness of death to offer the light of his resurrection.
13. The Hunchbacked Woman
On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was
there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over
and could not straighten up at all. When Jesus saw her, he called her forward
and said to her, "Woman, you are set free from your infirmity." Then
he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
This is a miracle closely connected with a dispute on the observance of
the Sabbath. We shall focus on the miracle itself. On the one hand, we see the
woman's act, being told that "she was there"; there is no mention of
her making a request or going there in order to be healedshe was just "there."
Being present before the Lord suffices to attain healing. On the other hand, we
see Christ's act, described by way of four actions: He saw her, called her,
spoke to her, and placed his hands upon her. He became aware of the problem,
called the woman, personalized the encounter, and then acted with his
omnipotent word: "He spoke, and everything was accomplished." And He
placed his hands upon her as a sign of power over life and death, illness and
14. The Man with Dropsy
One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee,
he was being carefully watched. There in front of him was a man suffering from
dropsy. Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, "Is it lawful to
heal on the Sabbath or not?" But they remained silent. So taking hold of
the man, he healed him and sent him away.
Then he asked them, "If one of you has a son or an ox that falls
into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?"
And they had nothing to say.
According to a certain view held by the Pharisees, salvation was to come
through strict observance of the Mosaic law, as interpreted by them and the
scribes. In terms of these prescriptions, since the Sabbath was a day of rest,
people were not supposed to work, and healing was a form of work and was,
therefore, prohibited. By this miracle, Jesus teaches us how wrong they were.
The new Kingdom is not the irrational observance of ancient laws, but healing
and forgiveness. Where there is assistance and love, the Kingdom of God is
present. This does not mean that laws are bad, but that their content must be
the most appropriate ways of serving God and others.
15. The Ten Lepers
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between
Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy
met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus,
Master, have pity on us!"
When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests."
And as they went, they were cleansed.
One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud
voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. He was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?
Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?"
Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well."
In this miracle the point of departure was the lepers'
request. They cried out and remained at a distance because their approach was
prohibited. They were sure the Master could heal them. They had faith in Him.
They were marginalized by the people of Israel and had no one to turn to. Then,
filled with hope, they turned to the Master, whom they trusted completely.
However, something quite common unfortunately appearedingratitude. They were
all healed, but afterwards forgot their previous condition. They felt well and
thus had no further interest in the Master, except for one who, like the
Samaritan, did not belong to the people of Israel. Christ pointed this out and
will continue to do so with those of us who turn to the Lord when in need, but,
once need has passed, show no further interest in God.
...And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his
But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's
ear and healed him.
When Jesus was arrested, Simon Peter drew his sword and cut off the
right ear of Malchus, servant of the high priest. It is St. John who gives us
the details Jn 18:10-11. What strikes our attention in this miracle of healing
is its uniqueness. Jesus did not require faith of him; rather, the one
benefited by the miracle lacked faith and had even come to arrest Jesus, as if
He were an evildoer. It is a miracle of utter mercy involving forgiveness of
his enemies to such an extent that, even during the evil act of the arrest they
were carrying out against Him, He did not hesitate to heal the man attacked by
17. The Son of the Royal Official, (Jn
Once more he visited Cana in Galilee, where he had turned the
water into wine. And there was a certain royal official whose son lay sick at
Capernaum. When this man heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he
went to him and begged him to come and heal his son, who was close to death.
you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you
will never believe."
The royal official said, "Sir, come down
before my child dies."
Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will
The man took Jesus at his word and departed. While he was still
on the way, his servants met him with the news that his boy was living. When he
inquired as to the time when his son got better, they said to him, "The
fever left him yesterday at the seventh hour."
Then the father
realized that this was the exact time at which Jesus had said to him, "Your
son will live." So he and all his household believed.
This was the
second miraculous sign that Jesus performed, having come from Judea to Galilee.
man believed what Jesus said to him." In this miracle of healing what
appears to be most outstanding is the faith of the royal official. He believes
in the Lord's words, and these display their full power, which is the power to
give life. Our Lord reproaches those who do not believe if they fail to see
tangible signs. This official does not see the signs, but hears only the word,
and the context for the miracle worked by Jesus emerges from this pure faith. It
is the most forceful invitation to believe in the Word. Jesus is the Word of the
Father; to believe in Him is to possess life. This miracle holds significance
for us today, demanding our faith and our directing our lives in accordance with
faith in a world where other kinds of signs are sometimes obscured.
18. The Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, (Jn
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of
the Jews. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic
is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a
great number of disabled people used to lie-the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.
From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters.
The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of
whatever disease he had. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight
years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this
condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
the invalid replied, "I have no one to help me into the pool when the water
is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me."
Jesus said to him, "Get up! Pick up your mat and walk." At once the
man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.
To some interpreters of
Sacred Scripture, the thirty-eight years during which this paralytic continued
to hope for a cure are a clear symbol recalling the thirty-eight years of
punishment when the people of Israel remained in the desert, wandering about
before reaching the Promised Land. They could also be seen as a striking symbol
of the years in which our world has been wandering in the desert of being at a
distance from Christ before encountering Him and being healed of its paralysis
so as to walk towards God. Our world is prostrated in secularism today, but if
it wants to, it can also encounter Christ, stand up, and walk; however, this is
possible only if it "wants to." Christ offers the chance. The response
is up to us in this world.
19. The Man Born Blind, (Jn 9:1-7)
he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, "Rabbi,
who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
this man nor his parents sinned," said Jesus, "but this happened so
that the work of God might be displayed in his life. As long as it is day, we
must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.
While I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the
man's eyes. "Go," he told him, "wash in the Pool of Siloam"
(this word means Sent). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
this miracle Jesus Christ clearly appears as the light of the world. To see
means to believe, and it also signifies the result of a judgment: men are
divided between those who believe/see and those who do not believe/do not see.
Christ is the center. Those who think they see do not see, and those who are
blind see. Without Christ, those who think they see are in darkness, and, with
Christ, those who feel blind find the light in Him and see. The man born blind
in this miracle is a symbol of all men. We are blind at birth. Only through
Christ's action illuminating us can we see. This is the meaning of the Baptism
with which Christ enlightens us and draws us out of the sin of darkness.
Darkness is the secularistic outlook so often conditioning our world, which
nonetheless thinks it possesses the fullness of guidance and light. The only
light putting everything in its proper perspective and enabling it to be
regarded in this way is Christ. Through Him, all of contemporary culture finds
its true scope.
20. The Resurrection of Lazarus, (Jn 11:38-44)
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone
laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said.
Lord," said Martha, the sister of the dead man, "by this time there is
a bad odor, for he has been there four days."
Then Jesus said, "Did
I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?"
they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, "Father, I thank
you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the
benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me."
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, "Lazarus, come
out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of
linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, "Unbind him
and let him go free."
Jesus' friends do not die. Whoever believes
in Him does not die. He seems to die, but it is a dream--his death is not
definitive. That is the meaning of this miracle, which crowns all of the
miracles worked by Christ--miracles ranging from material things to life itself.
Christ does what He says He is--the resurrection and the life. And in Lazarus He
is resurrection and life. Whoever does not believe does not accept the
resurrection, but, on the contrary, would like to destroy the resurrection
itself: Christ's enemies, after this miracle, search for the way to kill the
Lord. The resurrection exists, however; it is inexorable. It will be positive or
negative according to one's faith acting in deeds. If one possesses this active
faith, the resurrection will involve life; if not, eternal death. Again, we are
all under the judgment of God, and the judgment is definitive--the judgment of
faith in the resurrection. This is the meaning of the fact that our Church is
apostolic--that is, our Church has been sent to testify that death has been and
is overcome in the Lord's resurrection, and one of the most forceful testimonies
prior to Christ's death is the resurrection of Lazarus.
With the commentary on this last
miracle, we conclude our presentation of the series of miracles worked by the
Lord in the sphere of health. We have selected the most significant ones,
starting from the synoptic evangelists, and then moving on to the signs in this
connection which St. John narrates for us in his Gospel. This effort has been
conceived as a modest contribution by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral
Assistance to Health Care Workers to the evangelization of the world of
health by way of the INTERNET. These are brief comments which we hope will have
some practical value for the--often too hasty--consideration of those using the
Internet. It is our wish that they may do some good. In any event, your
observations on them are quite welcome and may be sent to our Council's e-mail
Thank you very much!
+ Javier Lozano
President of the Pontifical
Pastoral Assistance to Health Care Workers