The Way of Beauty
CHRIST PERFORMING MIRACLES,
THEME: The healing touch of Jesus
FOCUS OF THE MEDITATION: No need, weakness, or sin is too small for Jesus to want to help, heal, and forgive. The Lord is never too tired, busy, or important and will always extend his aid to all who ask or are in need. We embrace Jesus, admiring his loving care for us with gratitude and faith. Let us be open to the Lord's healing touch, the one who longs to mend our wounds and help us through affliction.
Pio-Christian Museum in Vatican City
Circa third to fourth century
Inspired Christian artists sculpted sarcophagi with biblical stories in the third to fifth centuries. These box-like funeral receptacles were created for burial of a corpse, but due to expense were often purchased by more wealthy Christians of that time.
The Christ Performing Miracles, Healing Scenes sarcophagus is one that illustrates images of Jesus' miraculous touch in the lives of God's people.
Imagine yourself in the position of this woman's position (the woman with the unstoppable flow of blood.) For twelve long years, she had endured her ailment, a hemorrhage that could not be stopped. Slowly and constantly she was loosing her very life. And try as she might, she could not find any doctors to heal her. She must have submitted herself to all kinds of examinations, tests, and remedies, only to find herself poorer, sicker, and without hope for a solution.
But then she hears the news about Jesus of Nazareth. Perhaps she's heard stories of his healing power.
Put yourself fully into the scene. Feel the crowd pushing in around you as you catch sight of Jesus ahead. Struggle to move forward, as the woman with the hemorrhage does by reaching out out to touch his cloak. You might be thinking as she likely did: How many times have I searched for solutions to my own problems outside of Christ? We try many solutions, but we fail because we do not submit our efforts to the Lord.
Reach out to Christ Jesus, the one who has healed so many others. Our blessed deliverer will overcome all obstacles and barriers for you, making a way where seemingly there is no hope. It does not matter that you have struggled for many years with this affliction. God always provides healing for the beloved who approach him humbly and with confident faith. Still not all healing is a see expect it to be. We have to be open to receiving the touch God wants us to receive as all things work for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).
Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. Just then there came a man named Jairus, a leader of the synagogue. He fell at Jesus’ feet and begged him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years old, who was dying.
As he went, the crowds pressed in on him. Now there was a woman who had been suffering from hemorrhages for twelve years; and though she had spent all she had on physicians,[a] no one could cure her. She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his clothes, and immediately her hemorrhage stopped.
Then Jesus asked, “Who touched me?” When all denied it, Peter[b] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and press in on you.”
But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; for I noticed that power had gone out from me.”
When the woman saw that she could not remain hidden, she came trembling; and falling down before him, she declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed.
He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
PRAYER AND REFLECTION
"What was required of the woman in order to be healed of her affliction? What does Jesus require of you?"
The comments above are taken from Meditations on Vatican Art by Fr. Mark Haydu. To truly enter into this Visio Divina, I suggest purchasing the book as each masterpiece comes with a complete description, prayer and reflection, and spiritual exercise.