Kempis is not telling us anything we don’t know in the first line (above) of this chapter (1,13). What he is endeavoring to do is to advise us on how we are to handle these inevitable and repeated challenges and difficulties. What does he recommend? Humility, perseverance, and prayer — that is: go to God.
Mark tells us again today of Jesus’ healing ministry (Mk 6:53-56). The Lord’s reputation for miracles preceded Him quickly, as we can easily imagine. So all those who were ill did whatever was necessary to be in His presence in the hopes of being made whole.
Three important lessons can be found here:
- Per Kempis’s urging, we go to the Lord in our difficulties, as the crowds did. Whether our challenges are physical, mental, psychological, or spiritual, we are to resort first to prayer.
- “They … began to bring in the sick on mats” (v. 55). The intercession of others is a powerful help in petitioning the Lord. Let us not hesitate to ask others for help and prayers on our behalf and let us not hesitate to offer help and prayers on the behalf of all those whom we love (that is, hopefully, everyone).
- “[A]s many as touched it were healed.” The sick were taken to Jesus in full confidence that they would be made well. Should we not have the same attitude? And even if a particular healing is not meant for us, our trust in God will not be wasted if we end our plea with “but thy will be done” and mean it, thus effecting a healing of the soul. A great heavenly award (see Mt 5:12) waits if we are humble, patient, and accepting of our lot for God’s sake. And the wonderful Catholic teaching on redemptive suffering, in the end, makes it all worthwhile.