I would like to share three of my experiences with you. In 2005 December, my sister Dr. Susan, then aged 35, who had been suffering from S.L.E, a deadly disease, for a long period of 12 years was critically hospitalized in SUT, Thiruvananthapuram. She was terminally ill and was about to be taken to the ventilator for ‘silent death’. The doctors had lost every hope. Her heart functioning was only 25%. At that uncertain moment, I along with the most revered Fr. P.M. Eapen, went to see her in the C.C.U and prayed for her. I thought it would be my last glimpse of her. Fr. Eapen prayed and anointed her with the holy oil. After an hour, by the abundant grace of God, she recuperated herself and came back to life from the verge of death. Indeed it was yet another miracle of Jesus- the Greatest Physician! She is still alive, and has been practicing in her clinic at Kollam as a living testimony of Faith and Prayer -healing ever since her recuperation. Let glory be to God Almighty!
I can testify to the healing efficacy of the Holy Qurbana on the basis of an incident happened in the same year at St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s Orthodox Syrian Church , Vattiyoorcavu, Thiruvananthapuram, where I was working at formerly. A 50 years old woman called Mariamma Varkey, who had been lame of polio (cripple) from her childhood, got a miraculous healing at the solemn moments of the elevation of the holy mysteries during a holy mass celebrated in connection with 8 days lent in September 2005. Formerly she could walk only with support of crutches and on that day too she came to the church using crutches. When I began to say the prayers, “The one holy Father is with us, who, by his mercy, created the world. The one holy Son is with us, who, by his own precious sufferings, redeemed the world, and the one holy spirit is with us, the perfecter and fulfiller of all that has been and all that will be”, she felt that she was receiving a power in her limbs and thereafter she started standing on her feet and walking without using the stick. I infer that in every holy mass Jesus our Lord- the Son of righteousness- rises with healing in His wings- for it is written in the book of prophet Malachi 4:2: “But to you who fear my name the son of righteousness shall arise with healing in his wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves”.
Another miracle happened in 2004 had been to a boy called Ansu Samuel, then aged 14, who was partially paralyzed following a surgery for his urinary problem. He was rejected from Sri Chithira Thirunal Medical Institute and Research Centre, Thiruvananthapuram. He was then brought to St. Peter’s & St. Paul’s Orthodox Church, Vattiyoorcavu, Thiruvananthapuram where I was serving at during that time. He was administered the Holy Oil and a special Holy Qurbana was said for his healing. To the surprise of us all, he regained his health in a time of one month. Now as a reciprocation of God’s love and concern, he is serving his Lord at the church as an altar boy (Acolyte). God can work where man fails. Halleluiah! Praise the Lord! There may be a good number of similar experiences for you too have to say as a testimony, haven’t you?
Please do always bear in mind that nothing is impossible to God and everything is possible through Prayer and Faith. If the woman with an issue of blood could get healing by just a touch on the cloak of Jesus as said in St. Luke 8, it is no wonder if one receives healing from holy sacraments. Let us be glad that we have a living and loving God in Jesus Christ. It is God who heals you and me. (Exodus 15: 26). His Spirit is still working through His holy Church which is the mystical body of Christ- the anointed one who was sent to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind.(St. Luke 4:18 b). Bible says, “Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach, and to have power to heal the sickness and to cast out demons” (Mark 3:14-15). When we pray “Give us this day our daily bread” in Lord’s Prayer, it includes the medicine needed for us all. The concept behind running Mission Hospitals by our church is as part of our healing ministry. If you believe in Jesus, you too can be healed. So, there is no need of going here and there for healing. The ‘healing ministry’ is still in our Church. But remember, it is always good to render this Sacrament- Anointing of the sick- when the sick person is in the conscious state. However, anyone can at anytime receive this holy sacrament. Let us pray for all the sick around us and be healed ourselves also. No fervent prayers remain unanswered. We read in the book of Job42:10 ff that when Job, the righteous, did pray for his friends, he regained his health and wealth. See what our ancestors prayed: “Loka Samastha sukhino bhavanthu”! What a broader outlook of the erstwhile people of India was it! Let this same attitude administer us!
Let the invalid world be healed by the grace of God, by the intercession of all saints, and through the sacraments of the holy Church.