“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.”
This past Sunday, I was coming down with the upper respiratory infection I now am getting over. It really came on suddenly, with a vengeance, and I was thinking last weekend if I took care of myself it would all go away quietly. On Sunday night, my mother told me, “you better go to the doctor.” I thought, no, I’ll just wait a couple of days and it will go away.
Well, it didn’t. Monday it was much worse, and I took Mom’s advice and went to see my doctor. I’m glad I did because I’m actually making progress and feeling a little better each day. But to get there, I had to admit that I was sick, that I needed a physician, which is exactly what our Gospel reading calls us to do this morning.
That one line is significant: “Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.” Anyone who has battled an addiction will tell you how true it is. You cannot make any progress is wellness in any aspect of life if you don’t admit you’re sick. And we all have difficulty doing that sometimes, I think, and much to our demise.
It’s important that we learn to do that in the spiritual life. If you don’t think you need a physician for your spiritual life, congratulations, you can skip Lent. In fact you don’t even need a Savior! I say that in jest, but really it’s true. Jesus is very clear today: he came to call sinners to conversion, and that includes all of us. All of us, myself included, maybe even foremost among all, need conversion in our spiritual lives. And the good news is that Jesus gives us Lent to do just that. Be converted, be healed, be made whole so that the glory of Easter can brighten our lives.
So our reflection this morning is two-fold. First, where and how do I need the Divine Physician in my life right now? And second, invite him in and let him heal us.