Jesus ‘Lord and healer’
Fr Richard McAlear presents the host at Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Rozelle
What makes us Christians is our belief and unity in Jesus Christ, says Fr Richard McAlear.
The American Oblate priest, a member of Catholic Charismatic Renewal, ministered over two days to a full church at St Joseph’s, Rozelle, praying with and anointing congregation members with blessed oil.
Fr Richard, who belongs to the Association of Christian Therapists, a large US-based group of doctors, nurses, clerics and other health professionals, including pastoral care workers, reminded the congregation that it is Jesus who heals.
Anyone else is only the instrument whom God uses.
Even though the service is called a healing service, it is really Jesus who is the centre and focus, he said.
All are there in the name of Jesus.
“It’s very hard to keep Jesus at the centre of our lives,” he said. “And so it has been for the Church all through the centuries.
“We get involved in many issues, and many needs and cares can claim our attention, such as our careers, our husbands, wives and children; our friendships and sporting interests; yes, even our finances.
“There are also the illnesses and diseases that attack us. But we must always go back to placing Jesus in the centre.
“None of the above is as important as our relationship with the Lord.
“At some stage we will leave all our earthly pursuits behind to spend the rest of our lives with God.
“Isn’t it therefore most important that we build up a relationship with him now, today?”
Fr Richard said that belief and unity in Christ are what make us Christians.
“The Church’s structure is not the most important thing,” he said. “It is our faith, the faith that we carry in our hearts, that matters.
“It’s not enough just to know that Jesus is the son of God and the second person of the Trinity, but to know him as my personal Lord and Saviour and to believe that he would have died for me if I was the only person alive.
“Faith in Jesus Christ makes us strong – lack of faith in Jesus Christ makes us weak.
“When we proclaim Jesus as Lord, healing follows. It just happens, because that’s what Jesus does.
“He is present, he is active, he comes to save us. He is as alive today, now, as he was when he walked the roads of the Holy Land. He is always in the present. He always was and he always will be. He is the eternal now.
“One of the great blessings for those who have been baptised is the realisation that Jesus is real. He is not someone ‘up there’.
“We don’t have to wait until we die and go to heaven before we get to meet him. We can see him now as our brother, our God and our Saviour.
“He holds our hand and walks with us, carrying us when the going is too hard for us to handle.”
Fr Richard was also guest speaker at a weekend conference in Canberra for health professionals and others involved in caring for the sick.