by Ken Rolheiser
Sun of Righteousness with healing in its wings

We all need healing at some time in our lives. Perhaps sadness or despair is visiting us now as the suicide hotline calls in the U.S. are up 300 per cent. Since June 1 Medicine Hat has recorded seven suicide deaths of young men. 

Saskatchewan has its own suicide story unfolding in a 635 kilometre walk in support of suicide prevention legislature. How do we address suffering, pain and woundedness in our lives? Isn’t that what the birth of Jesus is all about?

A great Christmas carol has the power to bring us back to Christ and to help us believe that our lives can change. Maybe it is the magic of remembered sentiment from childhood experience, or it is the actual light and healing that Christmas brings.  

We see this in Vince Guaraldi’s “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing”. Hark, the song title tells us, “Light and life to all He brings / Ris'n with healing in His wings.” How often throughout our lives do we turn to that sentiment, that love from the new-born Jesus, and ask for healing?

The light of Christ, like the Sun, has risen, and brings us healing and growth. Throughout our lives we will grow physically and in grace in the presence of this Light. "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall." (Malachi 4:2).

What comfort we find in this powerful presence of God’s comforting wings. When Christ returns at the final judgement those wings spread across the sky will bring healing to the faithful below and remove the impact of our sins as God’s righteousness and peace flood the earth.

We do not have to wait for that final judgement day to realize the fruits of this God made Man. “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1).

And the comfort of those wings! “Those who wait for the Lord will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” (Isaiah 40:31).

Deuteronomy tells us: 
“Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
That hovers over its young,
He spread His wings and caught them,
He carried them on His pinions.” (32:11).

In his homily “Existential Experience” Father Brendan McGuire asks us if we are ready now to ask the Lord to enter our lives by a wilful decision, or if we are going to wait for new wounds to bring new suffering? Do we welcome the light now or wait for darkness to get deeper and more profound?
“I promise you if you open up your heart and your mind,” he encourages us, “the Lord will bring something new into your life, something wonderful. I do not know what it will be, but it will be a light in the midst of your darkness. And I promise you the Lord will not disappoint.”

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