Friends, in today’s Gospel we read about crowds coming to Jesus for healing and deliverance. We hear that people brought the sick from all over the region, as well as those troubled by unclean spirits.
Now, I realize that we today might be a bit skeptical of such miraculous healings. But it’s hard to deny that Jesus was known as a healer and a miracle worker. And there is abundant evidence that the performance of miracles was a major reason why the first preachers were taken seriously.
Have there been miracle workers and miraculous places up and down the centuries? Yes indeed. But the Church has customarily done this work through its hospitals and clinics, through figures such as John of God, Catherine of Siena, and Teresa of Calcutta. But the Church also serves through its sacraments, which heal sin-sick souls.
This is the apostolic dimension of the Church’s life, and without it, it would no longer be the Church. Parishes, parish priests, missionaries, servants of the poor and sick—the whole apostolic life of the Church is represented here.