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Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus heals many of the townspeople of Capernaum. His healing of physical ailments points to his spiritual healing—to his being the doctor of the soul.

The Gospels are filled with accounts of Jesus’ healing encounters with those whose spiritual energies are unable to flow. Much of Jesus’ ministry consisted in teaching people how to see (the kingdom of God), how to hear (the voice of the Spirit), how to walk (overcoming the paralysis of the heart), and how to be free of themselves so as to discover God.

Jesus was referred to in the early Church as the Savior (salvator in Latin). The term speaks of the one who brings healing—indeed, our word salve is closely related to salvus, meaning health. When the soul is healthy, it is in a living relationship with God. When the soul is sick, the entire person becomes ill, because all flows from and depends upon the dynamic encounter with the source of being and life who is God. We heal the soul by bringing to bear the salvator, the healer, the one who in his person reconciled us with God and opened the soul to the divine power.