Praying Towards Sunday for August 21st, 2016
The Energy Exchange!
In our Gospel lesson for this Sunday (Luke 13:10-17) we are confronted with Jesus and his healing ministry. On this occasion he is called upon to heal “a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for 18 years.”
Richard Rohr in his book Falling Upward talks about two types of “spirit” that can dwell within a person: eros and thanatos. The first is a spirit of creative love, and the second is a spirit of death. The first is a life energy, and the second is a negative energy. All of us exhibit both of these energies at various times and to varying degrees.
My theory, based upon this analysis, is that Jesus gave to humanity a perfect example of eros at work. His life energy was such an overwhelming and contagious presence that he was able to impart it to others in the form of healing, forgiveness, courage, compassion and all of the other life-giving qualities that bless our lives.
Remember the story of the woman who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment in the crowd, and was immediately healed of a hemorrhage she had endured for 12 years. (Mark 5:25-30) And Jesus at the time felt power go out from him. The woman had tapped into Jesus’ energy system, and the power of eros overcame her illness.
We don’t realize that we possess the same life-giving power that Jesus possessed, only to a much lesser degree. You know people who attract others. There is a magnetism about them that draws people into their arena of influence. We are prone to say of some of our friends, “I like to rub elbows with him/her.” There is an invisible but powerful attraction. Our lives are enhanced by spiritual and physical contact with certain people.
In my pastoral work sometimes I feel power leave me, especially when I anoint someone with the “holy oil.” It is a wonderful feeling for me, and I hope for them, as I commune with their spirit in prayer.
Note that Jesus in our Gospel lesson completed the energy transfer by anointing the crippled woman. There is something powerful about touch (as when we exchange the peace in the context of a worship service!).
We can bless others with a smile, a good word (as in “What’s the good word?”). We can even bless others with our good thoughts, though we may be miles away!
As you go about your work and play this week, running your errands and completing your chores, meeting with others formally or informally, passing strangers along with friends, become conscious of the energy you possess.
Consciousness enhances the process of exchanging eros with others. When we focus on the life-giving energy within us, and consciously understand its flow to others, we make the process all the more powerful. We receive and we offer to others, if they are open to it, a greater blessing.