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When the doctor saw my broken thumb, he told me not to use my hand. I replied to him, “If I cannot use my hand, how am I supposed to go to work to pay your bill?” Actually, I didn’t say that because I did not think of it at the time. But suppose that before I had arrived at the emergency room, I had bumped into two of Jesus’ disciples who had been sent out to heal the sick. They would have seen my swollen thumb and they would have asked me what happened because it looked as if there was a golf ball in there. Of course, I had fallen and had landed on my thumb. They would have taken a closer look, touched it, and cured it. Of course, I would have been really happy. I would not have had to go to the emergency room and sat there waiting for five hours. I would not have had to go to therapy twice a week. I would not have had to pay $75 to register as a first-time visitor to the hospital. I would not have had to pay $150 for a nurse to take my vitals, $300 for an X-ray, and $300 for the doctor to tell me that my thumb is broken. With all that money and all the time, do you not think that I would not had offer the two disciples a lunch, bought them some sandals for their feet, or asked them if they had lodging? And that is the reason why Jesus sent the disciples out without anything–no money, no extra clothing, and no food. They would not have needed anything because Jesus had given them a very valuable gift to heal. Think of the many very grateful people who would shower them with gifts and favors for saving them so much pain and suffering.
When Jesus rose from the dead, He gave us a gift. Let me explain this gift because it is as valuable as the gift that Jesus gave the disciples who were sent out to heal. Jesus was in the tomb for three days. The first thing He did when he rose from the dead was that he filled his lungs with air–the resurrected breath. He then took that breath, went to his disciples that evening, and gave them the exhale. He breathed the resurrected breath on them.
I recall when God breathed life into Adam in the creation story. Likewise, Jesus breathes eternal life into us. But more than that. We have Christ’s life. We are able to live like Christ. With this gift, we are able to do things we were never able to do before. We can now carry the cross with courage and hope like Christ. We can forgive like Christ, we can be kind and compassionate like Christ. Those wonderful divine-like qualities can make a big difference in people’s lives.
Let’s go back to the disciples who received the gift of healing. What if they had not used the gift? What if they had not healed my thumb? Do you think I would have bought them lunch, put them up for the night, or showered them with gifts? Not at all. I would have been too busy running to the emergency room with my painful thumb. The disciples used the gift and they never needed anything else, no money bag, no extra clothing, no food for the journey. Grateful people supplied their needs. It is the same with us. When we use the gift, the resurrected breath, and share Christ’s life. Very grateful people will benefit. Sometimes we think that God did not give us a better body or brain. Perhaps we did not have the money resources. We actually have something better. We just need to use the gift.Back to All Homilies