The Reading: Luke 5:27-32 (The Calling of Levi)
31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
For several months, I’ve experienced severe hip pain. Visits to orthopedists, diagnostic tests and steroid shots brought no answers or relief. Many nights are sleepless, and many days it is difficult to walk. Effective pain medication causes me to break out in hives, so like Paul, I’m usually aware of the thorn in my side. I’m weary of making excuses to colleagues and friends, and I don’t doubt some of them are growing weary with me. But starting a couple of weeks ago, I began serious physical therapy. Bethany, my grueling and aggressive therapist, looked at my situation with a fresh set of eyes and determined that parts of me are “out of alignment.” So, we are working to correct that as well as to strengthen surrounding muscles. If this does the trick over time, my future self-care regimen will need to include exercises to keep that ‘weak link’ aligned and strong. I’m praying that this relatively easy ‘cure’ will help manage what could become a more serious and debilitating long-term problem.
In Lent, we might take time to reflect on our own spiritual lives and where we might be out of alignment. Doing so before serious breaches in relationships occurs seems like a prudent idea. Working to strengthen our “spiritual muscles” will keep us strong. In the meantime, this reading reminds us that ‘the well’ have no need for a Physician, and Jesus serves as the model for living the ultimate life of spiritual health.
Prayer: Lord, You invite all who are burdened to come to You. Allow your healing hand to heal me. Touch my soul with Your compassion for others. Touch my heart with Your courage and infinite love for all. Touch my mind with Your wisdom, that my mouth may always proclaim Your praise. Teach me to reach out to You in my need, and help me to lead others to You by my example. Most loving Heart of Jesus, bring me health in body and spirit that I may serve You with all my strength. Touch gently this life which You have created, now and forever. Amen.