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Healing in synagogue and family

You have to exorcise the evil ones to bring back holiness to it; it can be a physical place, an institution, an organization. To give it back its pristine sanctity an exorcism is necessary, and it may come about through prophets, saints, poets, writers, and many others.

Healing in synagogue and family

By Joe Palathunkal
At Capernaum he entered a Synagogue and taught with authority to the astonishment of all who listened to him. There he healed a man with unclean spirit exorcising the evil one with authority saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” From synagogue he goes to a home, a family, and heals Simon’s mother-in-law who was suffering from fever. From Synagogue to family is neither an accidental journey nor his healing mission accidental on both the places.

Synagogue is a place associated with the holy where the rabbi reads the holy book and interprets it for the people but family is a mundane place where people live a rather profane or worldly life, not associated with the holy in the conventional thinking and outlook. Through the healing in the synagogue Jesus was proclaiming a stunning message to all the people everywhere that what you think as holy may not be free of the evil one and there can be individuals who are having unclean spirits like the possessed man in the synagogue.

You have to exorcise the evil ones to bring back holiness to it; it can be a physical place, an institution, an organization. To give it back its pristine sanctity an exorcism is necessary, and it may come about through prophets, saints, poets, writers, and many others. In the Old Testament times prophets like Amos and Nathan pointed their finger at the unclean spirits to clean a whole system and culture, and Jesus came proclaiming a counter-culture. As Christianity grew, saints like Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola and several others did the same mission in their own way.

From Synagogue Jesus goes to Simon’s house where ‘they told him about her at once” and he took her by the hand and lifted her up” and “Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them” (Mark 1: 21 – 31). Jesus knew very well what it means for a family when one member of the family is indisposed and how it makes the whole family sick, at least psychologically.

He knew that each member of the family must be healthy both physically and psychologically to serve each other and this mutual service is essential for the health of the whole family. A healthy family is the strongest foundation for a healthy society and nation. This healing ministry of Jesus only propels Catholic Church to engage in medical mission all over the world through its numerous religious congregations even in the remotest rural areas of Asia and Africa.

Through his healing in synagogue and family, Jesus wants to tell us that for healthy individuals and families, we need healthy religions and homes which will definitely help to build a healthy society and culture. To create a healthy collective life, we need religions and institutions free of ‘unclean spirit’ and then watch the change that comes to the society. Through these two healing incidents Jesus wants to tell each one of us to be an Amos, Francis of Assisi or Ignatius of Loyola.

(Joe Palathunkal is Associate Editor, Living In Faith)

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