One of the most interesting things I think about when I think of Jesus is there is no record of Jesus ever experiencing illness.
Jesus came to this world to show us how to live on earth as it is in heaven yet during his lifetime, there were multiple occasions where he experienced discomfort but he never experienced disease. He went through all these trials of the human experience without ever being sick even when he was surrounded by people who were incurably sick themselves.
Jesus experienced homelessness, his family were refugees, his parents lost him when he was a teenager. He spent 40 days and 40 nights in a desert experiencing hunger and thirst and temptations. Jesus was touched by the sickest of people seeking to be healed. He was tried and tortured, his clothes were taken from him and he experienced the most humiliating of deaths. Yet there is no record of him ever being sick.
Illness is caused by a state of dis – ease. People who get sick often do so because they are experiencing great stress in either mind, body or spirit. My doctor’s office has a wonderful quote up on their wall by J.R. Worsley. It says:
“If the body is sick, the mind worries and the spirit grieves; if the mind is sick, the body and spirit will suffer from confusion; if the spirit is sick there will be no will to care for the body or mind.”
Where are you in this state of pandemic? Is your body sick? Is your mind full of fear and anxiety? Is your spirit lacking the will to care? Or are you completely healthy?
How did Jesus in his humanness avoid sickness? What did Mother Mary Do to help him?
There is a lot of debate around whether or not Mary was an Essene but at the very least, she was likely influenced by them. The Essenes were known for their ability to sow and harvest healing foods where most people could not. People came to the them for healing long before Jesus was born.
Because they did not yet have Jesus as an example, the Essenes called upon the angels to help them know how to get closer to God. Mystic Catherine Emmerich claimed that Mary “was fed by the angels” and only ate the purest foods while she lived in the temple. Mary knew that food was thy medicine. She followed the diet of the priests in the temple which was much more strict than what the others ate. If she would feed herself only quality food, then certainly she would do the same for her family and that is exactly what our doctors tell us to do today.
The Essenes were also known for daily rituals similar to our baptisms today where they asked God to cleanse them in mind, body and spirit. During this pandemic, we are being told by doctors to make sure we wash our hands frequently which will protect us physically. Have we thought about asking God to to cleanse us of our worries and fears and anxieties? To wash us of our sins?
“Ask and it shall be given!” (Matthew 7:7)
Lord, take away our sins, forgive us for all the bad things we have ever done, said or even thought of. Help us to be strong and healthy to avoid illness like Christ.
Mary’s life was a constant prayer to God that created a perfect love between her and her creator.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18)
Mary practiced strengthening her faith in God knowing that fear is a product of evil whereas God is love. She chose to be closer to God, closer to love in mind, body and spirit. Perhaps this pandemic is a way for us to strengthen our faith in God, to choose to love each other rather than be fearful.
Tara Mohr in her book, “Playing Big,” so beautifully describes two types of fear. Pachad is a “projected or imagined fear.” It is the kind of fear that makes us over react and be irrational. This is the kind of fear that can ruin us.
There is another fear that she describes, it is Yirah. Yirah is sense of awe that you are being called to do something more than you thought you were capable of with a clear sense you are in a sacred space or there are higher powers nearby to assist you.
Yirah is what I believe both Mother Mary and her son Jesus possessed throughout their lifetime. They knew the grace of God was with them always and they were filled with a sense of reverence and faith that “through God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26)
Perhaps this pandemic is calling us all to be filled with yirah and answer the call in ways we never thought possible.
We are called to be united with not only the people we love the most but also with our neighbors and people we may never meet all around the world. To overcome this pandemic, we must think of others as much as we think of ourselves. We are one body in Christ – we do not stand alone!
We are being called to truly love one another. Love will help us know our own strengths and to use them. Love will help us see the gifts others possess. More than any other time we are each called to not hide behind doubt, we are called to use the gifts God instilled in us upon our creation to support each other through these difficult times. Don’t put your light under a bushel. We are called to shine!
We are being called to take a look at our priorities. What have we been giving most of our attention to? Whatever we give our attention to, whatever we put our energy into will always get stronger. What do you want to be the strongest force in your life? Have you been watching Zombie Apocalypse movies or have you been watching inspiring ones that focus on grit, determination and love? Have you been studying scripture or reading the news? What is most important to you?
We are being called to breathe cleaner air, get outside and enjoy the sunshine, and take care of Mother Earth.
We are being called to slow down since we have no where to go. We are called to be living in the moment…not to worry about the future or fret about the past. We are called to take this moment now and enjoy it, find the blessings in it, get creative with it and live simply.
We are called to be grateful. We are called to find gratitude in the little things and the big things God has orchestrated in our lives. We are called to be gracious people for the sacrifices others make for our well being. We are called to be thankful for our family, friends, community, our schools, our workplaces, our country and the world. We are called to appreciate the opportunities given to us to gain perspective on what is important. We are called to be thankful for our savior Jesus Christ for showing us “the way, the truth and the life” to live on earth as it is in heaven.
“Rejoice always,pray without ceasing,give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)
Finally, we are being called to strengthen our faith and maintain our hope in God’s plans for us.
“‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Pray to strengthen your relationship with Jesus. Pray to know God’s word and to live it every day.
In Jeff Benner’s book, “The Living Words,” he speaks of the Hebrew root word for fear as meaning “flowing of the gut” – a feeling inside that guides your actions either towards trembling or awe. There is a beautiful quote about gaining wisdom:
“The fear (yirah) of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)
Jeff Benner shares the Hebrew translation of it as follows:
The flowings (Yirah – the teachings (torah) and character (ru’ahh).) of Yahweh is the beginning of wisdom(Hhakhmah – the ability to distinguish between good and bad.), and an intimate relationship with the special one is understanding.
In these times we are called to distinguish good from evil. Study scripture, follow Jesus’ example and develop a close personal relationship with the Almighty God who loves you and wants only the best for you. This is what Mother Mary would do in a pandemic.
May God bless you and your family with faith, hope, love and gratitude!!!