When a person becomes seriously ill, it is an opportunity for community to gather together. Those communities can differ in many ways. It could be family gathered at a bedside. It could be congregational visitors gathering on behalf of their church in a hospital room, or a prayer circle gathered in a church meeting room to pray together for the ill person. It could be several persons praying for the same person from their individual homes.
Wait a minute! Is it even possible to be of any use when we aren’t physically present? According to this healing miracle in today’s reading, it is possible. Jesus didn’t even get near the centurion’s servant, and he was cured. And because of that illness, a curious gathering of community happened: a Roman Centurion, the Jewish elders and Jesus, people who didn’t normally associate with each other.
In our group discussion we spoke of several examples of people who had felt the presence of prayer during their time of illness. While usually difficult to describe, there is a definite sense that something is happening, that healing is happening, and it is because of a community that has gathered in one way or another.
Healer of our every ill, let me never forget to join in with the praying community when others are ill. Amen. — LGR