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Jesus Preaches, Heals and Saves - Family Reflection Video

Jesus Preaches, Heals and Saves - Family Reflection Video

Healing the family  |  Holy lives of inspiration

The priest on duty for the UCLA hospital gets a list of names and room numbers of people who request a visit usually for anointing of the sick before surgery and often just to have a conversation with a friendly person. 


On this visit, more than ten years ago, a man from Louisiana, in hospital bed, about 40-50 years old, welcomed me to his room. He said: “I need to talk to a priest. I have been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer and am approaching the final months of life.” 


Then he told me his life story, not as part of confession. By his own account, he had not led a very good life. He drank too much, ruined his marriage, was divorced, was unethical in business, gambled too much and had many sexual encounters with women outside of marriage.


In about one-half hour, he related all the sad events of his life and piled them there in front of us like a heap of trash to be discarded. After this life story of sin and failings, he glanced at me from the corner of his left eye and said, “Knowing all this, can you save me?”  My quick response was, “No sir, I cannot. But Jesus can.”


At that moment, I was conscious of witnessing and participating in an extraordinary moment of God’s grace. This dying man was asking the Lord for healing and forgiveness. I was positive that the Lord of Mercy was there in the room, through the power of the Holy Spirit, touching this man’s heart, moving him to repentance, healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation with God. I believe that he died peacefully in friendship with God. 


In today’s Gospel, Jesus comes in the evening hour to Simon’s house, and they tell Him that the mother-in-law is ill. Jesus immediately goes to her and in a tender gesture, takes her by the hand, heals her and raises her up. Jesus preaches, He heals, and He prays. 


Young Samuel hears the voice of God and finally recognizes that it is the Lord and says, “Speak, your servant is listening.” 


Friends, like the boy Samuel, surely we hear the same Lord calling us to preach by the lives we live; to heal through our care for the sick and the elderly. Finally, like Jesus, it is so important to carve out time each day to listen in prayer to the Father, and especially to family members.

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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.

Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.