Thursday, November 13, 2014

Continue the Journey

"Stand up and go; your faith has saved you."  ~Luke 17:19

Fr. Luke Strand (source)
This past Wednesday, Fr. Luke Strand, the Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, presided at Cor Jesu, the popular  Holy Hour with confessions and contemporary Christian music, which is followed by Mass.  Cor Jesu is held every Wednesday evening beginning at 7 pm at St. Robert's Parish in Shorewood, Wisconsin.  It was the last time that Fr. Luke will be present at Cor Jesu, which he founded, for the remainder of the year, as he takes some time away to receive necessary treatment for the colon cancer with which he was recently diagnosed.

Please do hold Fr. Luke deeply within your prayers during this time of his healing, praying especially for the intercession of St. John Paul II and St. Luke.

Poignantly, he spoke about healing in his homily; not physical healing, but spiritual healing.  We enjoyed Luke's Gospel account (Lk 17:11-19) about the ten lepers who were healed, but only one of them returned to offer thanks to Jesus for his healing.  Fr. Luke said that we, like the lepers, are all in need of healing, not necessarily from leprosy, but from our sin.  And like the lepers who were afraid to come too close to Jesus, who stood at a distance calling out to Jesus to have pity on them, we are often afraid, too, of coming too close to the Lord.  We're afraid that our sins are too terrible, that Jesus can't really heal us, that we are too enmeshed in the darkness of our sinfulness.

Fr. Luke noted that the lepers weren't healed at the moment when they called out to Christ, but rather, their healing occurred as they journeyed away from Jesus to show themselves to the priests.  The journey is what seems to be the key.  Regardless of where we are in our walk of faith at the present moment, despite our sinfulness and infirmities, we need to continue the journey, to carry on without stopping, for it's only in the journey that our healing will occur.

The leper who returned to offer thanks to Jesus, wasn't necessarily healed for all-time, according to Fr. Luke.  His illness may have returned at a later time, and he might have had to return to the Lord to seek healing again.  And, once again, he may have been afraid to come too close to the Lord.  We, too, once healed from our sinfulness, might find ourselves falling back into sin again and again, and will need to go back to the Lord to seek spiritual healing many times over the course of our life's journey.  But journey on in faithfulness we must go, trusting that the Lord will always be waiting to lovingly heal us if we but turn to him in humility and trust.

Dear Lord,

We ask that you allow your faithful servant, Fr. Luke, to continue his journey of faith.   As he turns away from Your service to show himself to the doctors for medical care, heal him from his cancer.  Keep him from fear and allow him to enjoy many return visits to You, unabashedly coming close to Your Heart, to ask for whatever healing he may need.  Assist him in carrying his cross and allow him to use this time of suffering to enhance his already holy service to those who are burdened with crosses and leprosy of their own.

Thank you for blessing our Church with this holy, wise and faithful priest.  In deep trust, we pray.  Amen.


  1. Prayers going out for Fr Luke. What beautiful writing for him and for all who are in need of healing in all its' manifestations. May we find and experience the profound peace of the Lord in the midst of illness and healing. May we hold up the person to the Lord in prayer to do His will. Thank you for these prayers and insights. God Bless you dear friend.

    1. Thank you for your prayers for Fr. Luke, Cynthia! He's well-loved here in Milwaukee.

  2. This is so beautifully stated! I will join you in praying for Fr. Luke!