Faith healers and health workers are in mortal conflict. It is in this context the words of Jesus the Man (God, disputed) shines best!
‘When you had done it to these little ones of mine, you did it to me’; and another of his statement: ‘How can you love God whom you can’t see, if you fail or refuse to love your neighbour created in God’s image but in need whom you see and rub shoulders with?
Other questions to be raised for answer are: Are loving God and Religion, the same? Are not religions reduced to meaningless rituals while Good Samaritan service alone is loving and serving God?
Nurses, Doctors, Health workers!
Most of the faith healers have disappeared from the battle front (Generals in the army must rest in cozy comfort, while foot soldiers in the thick of battle must do and die)! Those who do and die across the world, across India fighting and serving victims of Corona Virus are, first nurses, shining among them those from Kerala, then doctors followed by all sorts of health workers.
Church today is described by Pope Francis as a zone left with dying and wounded after a fierce battle. Here, what is the question for Red Cross workers, to ask and answer: Who are first the dying, then mortally wounded, then the disabled? They are not to waste time asking if one has indigestion or tooth ache! This is precisely what the Health workers are doing – risking their own lives to save the dying first in the process.
Many of the Kerala nurses even affected by the virus, reports say, are denied even food and proper accommodation in Maharastra and other states, one exemplary doctor Simon, died in the line of duty infected by the virus in Tamilnadu was denied proper burial due to violent attacks from the people he was serving. Such things are not faced by Faith Healers who still live In comfort zones busy preaching or lip service!
Here comes the counter question to me: “What else are you doing?” I too am doing nothing except barking like a watch dog at least to wake up the silent majority! Similar are other persons like Dr. Valson Thampu are doing almost daily, perhaps a better job. Please listen to him!
Compare the faith healers with our health workers, he says. The latter risk their lives for others, undeterred even by sporadic eruptions of ingratitude from the very people they serve….The key difference between chaff and grain is that the former is irrelevant to human needs….. compare them with health workers in this country and elsewhere. They are the heroes of our times. They risk their life for others, undeterred even by sporadic eruptions of ingratitude from the very people they serve. …Loving religion to the point of becoming callous towards fellow humans, custodians of religion prove an added pestilence.
Feet washing or spiritual Surgery?
Jesus washed their feet, not because their feet were stinking, but because something was rotting in their souls. It was anything but a ritual. It was a spiritual surgery. But priests are at home only in rituals. So, for centuries this soul-surgery of feet-washing had been degraded into a priestly ritual, not only emptying it of its ethical significance but also contaminating it with priestly hypocrisy.
Feet-washing is the last thing a bishop or priest would do, if he can help it….Not a single faith-healer is in sight anywhere in India, the land of religions. ….Loving religion to the point of becoming callous towards fellow humans, custodians of religion prove an added pestilence. It was this aberration that made Jesus say to the priests of his day, “Physicians, heal yourselves."
Some lessons from Corona
Followers of Jesus – they alone can be called Christians – have to be busy with doing the Good Samaritan work, instead of imitating the priest and Levite, passing by the humans mortally wounded and left to die on the road. Today this work is done solely by the health workers! So think constructively, how each one of us join the team of Health workers!
Corona highlights the hollowness of organized religions, nothing but show without substance, chaff without grain! It can benefit only the organizers. True church is the Domestic Church, better one’s own mind and heart.
Loving and serving God means serving the poor and needy in one’s neighbourhood, not donating to Churches and priestly class to fatten themselves. To build up an egalitarian society is to be the goal of every democratic society. Corona seems to have become a blessing in disguise telling humans to grow up to save themselves though Unity and Cooperation to overcome every crisis!