Ways to Heal – Br. Luke Ditewig
Jesus selected a small group of disciples to particularly teach and transform, a very unusual assortment including uneducated fishermen. Choosing a tax collector is striking. Working for the occupying Roman Empire, he was considered a traitor, outcast by the Jewish community. Other disciples would have resisted or been uncomfortable by Jesus’ latest invitation.
Walking along after teaching and healing, likely amid a crowd asking questions, Jesus saw Levi. Jesus paid attention to the periphery and saw those rejected or overlooked. Looking widely, Jesus saw Levi, saw a human with dignity and worth and honored him with a call. Seen and invited, Levi experienced Jesus’ healing mercy.
“Why eat with tax collectors and sinners?” say self-confident and serious religious folk. Condemn traitors. Build barriers. Stick together. Keep clean.
Because the sick need a doctor. “I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance.”
Jesus comes as Great Physician to those who accept they are sick, who are in need.
Sometimes Jesus healed immediately by touch. Jesus also healed and formed over a long time, teaching and living especially with that small group of disciples. Like a doctor, Jesus offers ways to engage healing, including slowly in community. Here are three: look, honor, and receive.
Look widely. Pay attention not only to those close to you. Look to the periphery, see and welcome the outcast and stranger.
Honor mystery. We Brothers say in our Rule of Life: “… honor the mystery present in the hearts of our brothers and sisters, strangers and enemies. Only God knows them as they truly are and in silence we learn to let go of the curiosity, presumption and condemnation which pretends to penetrate the mystery of their hearts.”[i]
Receive wisdom. What do others have to teach you, especially companions you didn’t or wouldn’t choose?
Jesus comes offering healing, including through ways to give and receive together. Look widely. Honor mystery. Receive wisdom.
[i] SSJE Rule of Life, Chapter 27: Silence
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Look widely. Honour mystery. Receive wisdom. Love it. Thank you Brother.