Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Time to recover

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28).

Every year I catch a cold or two. As soon as my throat gets sore and I feel pressure in my ears, I take it easy—naps whenever I felt tired or groggy, and easing back on my duties.  I have found that when I take care of myself, I recover more quickly. 

Of course, that’s not how the world expects you to act.  Commercials advertise products that let you keep on going despite being sick.  You don’t want to let illness slow you down at work; most people have such full schedules that taking a day or two for getting well just isn’t in the cards.  The trouble is that our bodies need rest in order to recuperate; squashing symptoms so you can keep going only prolongs the time that you are sick.

Many treat the health of their souls the same way.  Each of us is sick inside—sick with the infection of sin.  That sickness reveals itself in all kinds of symptoms: uncontrollable anger, a lack of patience and sympathy when dealing with others, an inability to find satisfaction with what you have.  The sickness of the soul causes us to break promises, make unreasonable demands, and get depressed when the spotlight shines on others.

Our soul sickness needs treatment, and God offers that treatment through His Son.  Jesus is the Great Physician; He brings relief to all who suffer and place their trust in Him.  He forgives our dark and twisted thoughts; He forgives our rash and thoughtless behavior; He forgives us when we treat others with cruelty or indifference.  He reshapes our priorities and our attitude; He helps us to show love and consideration in our words and actions.

This treatment is offered through the Bible and the Sacraments.  You can read the Good Book any time, anywhere; the Sacraments are freely offered as part of our life in the Church.  But just as most people won’t give their bodies time to recover from illness, an awful lot of people won’t give their souls the time needed for Jesus’ treatment.  They can’t seem to fit worship into their schedule; they are too busy to sit down with Holy Scripture and absorb the healing words of Christ.  Please don’t let the infection of sin strengthen and grow worse; make time for the healing that you desperately need, the healing offered freely to you by Jesus’ loving care.

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