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  My Witness

Vol. 6, No. 3, July, 2001

Healing and the Proclamation of Jesus Christ -- Part 4
by Sr. Angeline Bukowiecki, S.N.C.

Sister Angeline The pressing pastoral task of the new evangelization calls for the involvement of the entire people of God. The new evangelization is to be new in its fervor, new in its methods, and new in its expression for announcing and witnessing the Gospel.

Parishes are called to be evangelizing communities. Parishioners are to be trained in "how to evangelize" and in "how to pray with the sick". A healing ministry made up of trained evangelistic teams is to exist in every parish. Such teams are available to pray for healing with those who come asking for help and for those who are sick at home or in the hospital.

This is what will make the local parish once again a visible place of salvation where the Good News is confirmed by signs and wonders performed in the name of Jesus.

A few words about why people are not healed. One of the main reasons people are not healed is because of unforgiveness. They have a lot of unforgiveness, resentment, and hostility in their hearts. Now many of you are going to say: "I don't have any unforgiveness, resentment, hostility toward anyone! Not me!" What about your husband who left you or your wife who left you? Oh, but you say, "I forgave him or her a long time ago." But if you ever see him, you find yourself seething with anger. "Oh, no, I forgave him. But if I could only get my hands on him, I'd kill him. But, I don't have any unforgiveness, resentment or hostility in my heart toward him or her. No! Not me!"

Let's take a few minutes right now to call to mind any person you have not forgiven: the person you are holding a grudge against; the person you feel resentment or hostility toward. 1 Peter 3:9 tells us that instead of being unforgiving, resentful, or hostile toward anyone, we are to call down a blessing upon him or her.

I have found this to be a blessing for me to do. If anyone has hurt me deeply, what usually happens is that an invisible barrier goes up between me and this person and I find it next to impossible to relate at all to that person. There is a kind of residual of hurt feelings that remains, making it almost impossible for me to want to see or be with that person. Doing what 1 Peter 3:9 calls me to do is very helpful.

What I do is first of all praise the Lord for this person just as he or she is. Then I ask the Lord to heal this person and to bless this person just as they are. And finally, I ask the Lord to heal me of these hurt feelings. What happens is that the invisible barrier disappears and I am able to relate to this person in a loving way.

Just close your eyes now and call to mind that person or persons you have not truly forgiven. Hold him or her up to the Lord, asking the Lord to give you the grace to forgive the person or persons from your heart, so that when you think of that person or see that person, you will be able to look upon him or her with love and not remember the hurts of the past any more.

(If you wish to learn more about healing and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, see the book by Francis MacNutt, Healing.)

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