READ : 1 John 3:11-19
Jesus commanded us to love one another as He has loved us. We are called to be responsible in the family of faith. Therefore “let us think of one another and how we can encourage one another to love and to good deeds. And let us not hold aloof from our church meetings, as some do. Let us do all we can to help one another’s faith…” (Heb. 10:23-25, Phillips).
Studies have shown that support groups such as the church or Alcoholics Anonymous have a direct impact upon health. Weekly church attendance significantly reduced various kinds of illness because of social connectedness.
There is healing energy when we can come together to love and know that we are loved in the larger community. But it is hard work to nurture love, to value it and nurture its growth in long-standing relationships. “Love never dies of a natural death,” wrote Anais Nin. “It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source; it dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, or tarnishings.”
The Holy Spirit, the gift of God to those who ask for Him, will empower us to express the love that builds relationships.
“Eternal God, for Jesus’ sake, send Your Holy Spirit upon [us]; drive away all sickness of body and spirit; make whole that which is broken. Grant deliverance from the power of evil, through Christ our Lord. . . . Amen.” (RCA Liturgy).