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Daily Devotional for January 16


January 16                                                        Mark 3:7-19

Why is it that people of all kinds wanted so much to touch
Jesus? Why is it that he himself often touched others when
he cured them of their diseases or held their children in his
arms for a blessing? Why is it that, after the Resurrection, Jesus
urged the disciples to "touch and see" that it was really the
Christ in their midst, fully alive?

A friend of mine who belongs to Mother Teresa's Brothers,
the Missionaries of Charity, founded The Center in Oakland,
California, for people with AIDS and their care-givers. In an
interview for a Catholic newspaper Jeremy says that, because
AIDS is "mixed up with so much we are afraid of, especially
death," those with AIDS are "Jesus in his most clever disguise."

One of the services The Center provides is massage for those
who are not helped much by drugs and from whom others
have often withdrawn physically or even emotionally. Massage
therapy is important for those individuals in that it enables
them to know and feel that they are still in touch with others
and can thereby experience inner emotional and spiritual
healing, if not an actual cure of the disease.

Jesus knew well that his touch contained power that could
heal on many levels. Moreover, he shared that power with his
most intimate collaborators. We can still give and receive the
touch of the risen Christ today in massaging the sick, in feeding
the poor, in holding a lover, in embracing the unlovely -
whenever and wherever our touching is respectful and
reverent, neither intrusive nor manipulative.

     People press in on me at times and, like you, Jesus,
     I withdraw in prayer and contemplation. Refreshed
     and renewed in my spirit, I can then plunge again
     into facing the demons around me and in me. I
     have so many times experienced your healing touch
     in my own life. As your intimate companion and
     friend I want to pass that touch on to others I
     encounter today, in such a way that it will really
     be good news for afflicted humanity.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C

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