Claire O’Brien ’20

I am struck by how the apostles are to preach repentance. It is not through lofty words but through actions that have a meaningful impact on the quality of other people’s lives. Specifically, they drive out demons and cure the sick. At first glance, it may seem that we don’t have these powers. I can’t say I have driven out many demons or cured many sick people!

However, to some extent, we can do these things. For example, I think of a certain type of demon as being something that takes a toll on someone’s emotional, physical, social, or spiritual well-being. We all know people experiencing mental illness, loneliness, grief, or heartbreak. Our power lies in being a supportive friend, spouse, sibling, parent, or child. It is being patient when things outside of our loved one’s control take a toll on us. It is listening empathically and not losing hope. Through this support, the people we love most may be able to find some comfort, in other words, a lessening of their “demon.”

Looking at the call to cure the sick in a broader context, we have the ability to improve people’s quality of life and, in some cases, cure them by fighting for far-reaching systematic change. This includes expanding access to high quality affordable health care. Doing all we can to bring about just systematic change, although different from being a supportive friend, is also what Jesus sent his followers to do.

It is not that we can perfectly or wholly do any of these things. But we can commit our lives to fighting to improve the lives of both the people we love most and those we have never met. It is through living out this commitment each day that, God willing, others may come to see and know Christ.