Sunday, February 17, 2013

Mark 16 and Healing Ministry of the Church

This Lent, I am praying for three people who need healing. I am also interceding for my family members who need healing, but there are three others who are not related to me. They have each asked for prayers, and I have promised to pray.

Recently, I have witnessed God's amazing desire to answer prayer. I know that there are times when He chooses to answer our prayers in ways we don't expect - and even in ways we do not wish. But He always answers prayers in ways that are completely compatible with His Divine Will.

This is why I pray with confidence, joy, and hope...

When I receive the Eucharist, I place my petitions before Jesus Christ Himself. I know He is the Bread I receive. No metaphor.

It is Christ.

I know He is the Wine I receive. No Metaphor.

It is Christ.

And Jesus comes to me literally from the hands of one who has been commissioned through the laying on of hands by another and that one is in direct line with the 11 Apostles. The Bishop. And the Bishop comes to us through the laying on of hands by another and that one is in direct line of St. Peter. The Pope.

The line is real. It is historical. It is in black and white. Google "papal list" if you don't believe me.

And so, I can pray, and I cling to the words in the Gospel of St. Mark.

It is true that God works miracles even when we pray outside of the circle of apostolic succession. God is God. He is not bound by any one rubric.

BUT, He has promised to work through His Apostles, as we see in Mark 16. Through Jesus Christ, we have an apostolic faith in which we may choose to believe and be baptized. It is this faith, and not some hybrid of it that we are called to believe in. All waters of baptism flow from this one source - Jesus Christ and His Church that was founded upon the 11.

The Commissioning of the Eleven.
14h [But] later, as the eleven were at table, he appeared to them and rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart because they had not believed those who saw him after he had been raised.15 He said to them, “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature.16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages.18They will pick up serpents [with their hands], and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”j


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