Friday 11 January 2019

Word for today

The Gospel of Luke 5:12-16

If you wish

Now there was a man full of leprosy in one of the towns where he was; and when he saw Jesus, he fell prostrate, pleaded with him, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean”. Three verbs in a single invocation, three verbs to mark a request for healing, "wish", "can", "make one clean/purify." Thèlo, dýnamai, katharìzo.
Thèlo, the verb of the willingness to desire, to have pleasure, to feel delighted for something or someone, of decision and determination. The subjunctive mood thèles expressing possibility, "if you will, if you wish," followed by the present tense, "you can make me clean", indicates that, if the action occurs, the result is sure. This invocation, typical of those who supplicate Jesus, shows a very precise and broad awareness. There is no doubt about Jesus' healing power and about the divinity of his person, maybe the only uncertainty is about the desire, Jesus' willingness to heal. Not only does Jesus confirm his desire and his will to heal everyone, but he will give to the desire of those who ask for the strength and the power of healing.
Dýnamai, the verb expressing capability, being able, having the ability. The theme dyna- forms the noun dýnamis, "power", with the original meaning of "capacity, suitability." In the Gospels Jesus gives this word a special connotation: Jesus, as the prophesied Messiah, was defined with a spirit of fortitude, the powerful hero, the shepherd who would tend the sheep with power, who would stretch the rod of his power against the evil. The Messiah was expected as a king endowed with such a power. Jesus is seen and regarded as the Almighty, as full of supreme power.
The verb katharìzo is in the aorist infinitive, a verbal mood of the Greek language which indicates action, regardless of the categories of time and duration: the action is valid in the present, in the past and in the future; it is beyond time and corresponds to a project, a program which is always true. Since kàtharos means "pure source", the verb katharìzo has the literal meaning of "being pure." Literally Jesus says: be pure again, return to yourself, go back to your source. The whole healing and all healing is a matter of returning to the source, to oneself. Healing is always a matter of returning to oneself, the divine self created by God in his image and likeness. There is no healing of the heart and the mind, the soul and the flesh but by returning to ourselves. All that, under the influence of others' expectations, appears to man as the path of evolution, a necessary process to build his ego, actually turns into a cruel conspiracy that deadly leads man out of himself and far from God. Far from the divine inner source and from his Creator, man is given only two choices to survive: to meet other people's expectations and competition. Meeting other people's expectations sooner or later leads to imitation and submission, slavery, resignation, victimhood. On the other hand, competition has no other purpose than to divide people, human groups, the peoples into winners and losers. It is perfectly physiological that at some point competition turns into conflict, struggle, violence, war and destruction. Crushed by the effort and stress of meeting other people's expectations and by competition, joy is the first divine dimension to disappear, and sadness and starvation become a normal and acceptable state, because it is common. At this point no problem is so terrible, no discomfort is so unbearable, no error is so serious, that we can make it even worse by adding a great deal of guilt. Then even our brain may not be able to produce electricity and chemistry clean and healthy enough, there fore it is possible that a person, after many years of this inner pain, may also begin to show some emotional discontinuity, some compulsive obsession, sensory and mental degeneration, some kind of schizophrenic identity, disharmony and physical discomfort of any kind. That is why the Almighty, Jesus begins his healing from within. Healing is at hand  if we have faith, as long as we have the courage and the invincible love of returning to ourselves. Healing is a journey back to the grateful and loving acceptance of the present as the divine and absolute school of humility to learn to love, never subdued and resigned to the expectations and the power of others. It is a journey back to God, to the recognition, knowledge and adherence to the desires that God has for us. It is a journey of purification and sacrifice, mercy and not of guilt, during which mercy to be asked of God, for all the anger and disappointment experienced in  life, and forgiveness to offer to others for all suffering they have caused to us, are fundamental milestones and goals. We cannot heal if we do not go to the source of our being, of our true desires, our true aspirations and inspirations of our true selves created and loved by God before and above any other authority and human expectation.