Greetings on this the Optional Memorial of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr
Readings: Rom 5:1-5; Ps 117:1bc, 2; Mk 16:15-20
Notes: The Lord is always at work for salvation of souls and tranquility of life for all of humanity.
Physical and spiritual healing (sometimes tightly integrated realities) are evidence of His Holy Love.
What has the Lord healed you from? For me, Smoking!
A reasonable count would be having NOT smoked a quarter of a million cigarettes (250,000)!
The smell, the expense, the addiction, the health effects and the shame for lack of self-control.
When I receive the blessing prayer of Saint Blaise, I know already the Lord has healed me and I ask him to continue his healing to prevent backsliding and further progression of illness caused by my prior poor use of free will.
For me (opinion), I see the Anointing of the Sick for the immediate need and the blessing of Saint Blaise for the habitual and chronic needs. And always the Lord attending to our needs now, then and ever. That’s love.
A story on Saint Blaise
One day a group of hunters seeking wild animals for the amphitheater stumbled upon Blaise’s cave. They were first surprised and then frightened. The bishop was kneeling in prayer surrounded by patiently waiting wolves, lions and bears.
The legend has it that as the hunters hauled Blaise off to prison, a mother came with her young son who had a fish bone lodged in his throat. At Blaise’s command the child was able to cough up the bone.
Four centuries give ample opportunity for fiction to creep in with fact. Who can be sure how accurate Blaise’s biographer was? But biographical details are not essential. Blaise is seen as one more example of the power those have who give themselves entirely to Jesus. As Jesus told his apostles at the Last Supper, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). With faith we can follow the lead of the Church in asking for Blaise’s protection.
Most often as part of the Mass, all parishioners desiring a blessing of their throats typically proceed to the front of the church where the priest with the two blessed candles, tied with a red ribbon, holds them in the form of an X. He touches the candles to each side of the person’s neck and says: “Through the intercession of St. Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you free from every disease of the throat, and from every other disease. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” The red ribbon represents the blood of martyrs, and the candles held in the shape of an “X” represent the martyrdom of another saint, St. Andrew, who according to tradition was crucified on an X-shaped cross. Not only are we freed from disease but from everything keeping us from God.
Let brotherly love continue. Do not neglect hospitality, for through it some have unknowingly entertained angels. Be mindful of prisoners as if sharing their imprisonment, and of the ill-treated as of yourselves, for you also are in the body.
Go out to all the world and tell the Good News.
Go and teach all nations, says the Lord; I am with you always, until the end of the world.
Jesus appeared to the Eleven and said to them: “Go into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature.
They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.
So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs.
Peace be with you,