At this mid-point in the season of Advent, we are reminded by Psalm 146 of the enormity God’s power to heal our ills and, if we are willing, our potential for participation in healing the world. I am not speaking here of the “miracles of modern medicine” – which are, of course, extraordinary. The psalm focuses on deeper issues in our lives and includes political and social ills that need healing as well. One translation expresses it as follows.
For the downtrodden, God is justice, for the hungry, God is food. For those in prison, God is freedom; all our blindness God can cure. God’s compassion flows to the broken-hearted and seeks out those whose ways are just, for God loves the stranger in our midst and holds the widows and the orphans close. God delights in overthrowing evil. The reign of God shall know no end; it spans the generations. Hallelujah! (vs. 6-9)
I often think, when reading messages like this, of our Sisters who have served in very poor countries in times of turbulence – like Central America in the 1980’s – and how they often spoke of the deep joy of the people in the midst of their troubles. It was faith in God and the strength of their communities that allowed joy to be the stronghold of their lives. Thus, they became what spiritual writer, Henri Nouwen, called “wounded healers” to one another. This morning’s commentary asks how we are or can become the same. How can I – how can you – participate in the healing of our world today?