Does God desire all people to be healed?

Yes and no. It all depends on what you mean by the question. Jesus is God’s answer to evil, including sickness and disease. In Jesus, God reveals to us that he is good and it is his will to heal everyone of the cause and consequences of evil by inviting everyone to live with him in heaven where we will experience the fullness of the redemption Christ wrought for us in the Paschal Mystery. In this sense, we can say that God wills that all people to be healed. The question is when? Since the kingdom of heaven comes in the preaching of the gospel through the ministry of the Church, we believe that God wills to heal many people now, even if not all will be healed this side of heaven. In other words, we cannot say that God wills to heal everyone of their sicknesses in this life. Only in heaven will we experience the fullness of healing. Nevertheless, it is not up to us to decide who will be healed by not praying for healing. In fact, choosing not to pray for healing because we know that not everyone will be healed on this earth is like choosing not to take sick person to the hospital because some people don’t survive the treatment offered at hospitals. It’s our job to pray and God’s job to heal. If we choose not to pray for healing because of a misguided and premature judgment that it’s not God’s will to heal, we cannot conclude that the lack of healing is due to God’s mysterious will. We have found through praying with others that God wills to heal more people in this life than what most Catholics expect.

Moreover, healings in the gospels and in the life of the Church are not ends in themselves. They are like sacramental signs that points to the reality of the inbreaking kingdom of God and the Lordship of Jesus. Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead, died again. The point of his raising, and any other sign and wonder that Jesus performs through his Church, is to lead people to repentance and faith in Jesus so that we can be saved from sin and death in eternity. Since Jesus taught his disciples to pray that the Father’s kingdom come, and will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we press in and pray for the sick and any healing that results is a sign of his kingdom. In this way, the kingdom of heaven and the fullness of salvation through the forgiveness of sins remains our main focus. 

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