When John wrote his Gospel , about the year a.d. 90, things were not exactly peaceful. The church was facing conflicts both from within and from outside.
In places like Corinth, Thessalonica, and Philippi, serious divisions had formed among the believers. Most of the first apostles— including James, Peter, and Paul—had already been put to death. There was also the ongoing tension and occasional conflict with traditional Judaism. Significant differences also arose concerning issues like belief in the Trinity, sacramental baptism, fellowship with Gentiles, and the promised Second Coming. And we should not forget the severe persecutions carried out by the Roman Emperors Nero (a.d. 64) and Domitian (a.d. 81).
So if you were alive in the midst of all this turmoil, how would you have reacted to Jesus’ command: “Love one another as I love you” (John 15:12)? Clearly, this call was not just an invitation to have warm feelings for each other. It was a commitment that called for sacrifice and hard work—perhaps even to the point of persecution and death.
The same call is upon us today. Jesus wants us to love one another. He wants our love for each other to be the decisive sign to the world that he is alive. We may not be facing persecutions, beatings, or imprisonment, but we do know how difficult it can be to forgive people—especially when we feel that we have been treated unjustly. We have all suffered from the wounds in our relationships, whether it be in our marriages, with our children, or with our friends. We all need God’s healing touch.
God Wants to Heal Us. It’s good news, then, that the past few decades have seen a reawakening of the spiritual gift of healing. Many parishes now have healing Masses. Many have teams of people who have been trained to pray with people for healing. A number of books have also appeared showing us that it’s not too difficult to pray for healing even in our own homes. These efforts are producing enormous fruit not only in physical healings but also in healing the wounds hidden in the deep recesses of our minds.
In this issue, we want to talk about the way that Jesus can heal our memories. We also want to help you turn to the Lord and find his healing power for yourself and your family. We must believe that God wants to take away our pain. He is our Great Physician who wants to heal us so that we are free to love him and love the people around us. We also want to suggest a few steps you can take that will help prevent divisions and keep your relationships strong.
I pray that Jesus will pour out his healing love on all of us so that we can be set free from the hurts, the angers, the resentments, and the injustices of life. I pray that he will heal all of us so that we can follow his command to love one another even more deeply—as deeply as he loves us. May God bless you all.