Then he summoned his Twelve disciples
and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out
and to cure every disease and every illness.
The official name of the our Franciscan order is the Order of Friars Minor--or as we often refer to ourselves: "Lesser Brothers." The implication is that we are called to associate with the lowly and, in humility, to not seek power over other people. In reality, though, it doesn't always work that way. When I was a principal, my role gave me a certain level of authority over the teachers. As a pastor, I shared in the authority of the bishop. Now that I am the Director of Development for the Sacred Heart Province, I have authority over my staff and can make decisions that affect our daily operations.
It is sometimes uncomfortable to have a position of authority and to cope with the responsibility that comes with such a position. Still, I am somewhat envious of the Twelve who were given "authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness."
I think of my family members who are battling serious medical conditions. I know people who are chronically depressed. A former parishioner/student has been struggling with neuroblastoma for over a year. More and more of our friars are being diagnosed with cancer. The members of my CUSA group all have chronic conditions. It would be great if I had the words and the power to make them all whole.
But I don't. That authority has not been given to me. And so, like many people, I feel helpless to do anything else but pray and to offer support. Until such a time as I am given authority over unclean spirits and disease (and, really, that seems unlikely at this point), I turn daily to the Divine Physician and ask Him to do what I cannot do--to speak words of healing over those who are not whole.
[I apologize for missing several days. Recent travels have thrown me off schedule, and I have been trying to get caught up both in the office and at home.]