Today's readings are about "healing." In 2 Kings 5 Elisha is healing the leper, Naaman. Elisha tells Naaman to go to the Jordan River "7 times." Naaman objects saying the rivers "of Damascus are better than all the waters of Israel." (vs. 12) Wait for it....... His servants ask Naaman "if the prophet had asked you to do some 'great' thing would you not have done it?" (vs. 13 emphasis mine) Our Gospel reading is Matthew 8 where Jesus is also healing a leper whose name we don't even know. (vs. 2 & 3) "All" the leper had done was gather enough courage to ask Jesus to "do" something. Both are healed. Easy for either one of them - not especially. The leper in Matthew 8 follows Jesus' instructions to "show himself to the priest and offer the gift that Moses commanded." (vs 4) At least this is all we're told. Showing himself to the priest would give thanks to God which is also what Naaman does in verse 15.
Healing, for both, yes. Easy for them - yes and no. Both had to get past the difficulties of time, place and disease. Both had to follow instructions - which for some can be the hardest part! Both faced the challenge and moved forward. Both praised God.
Today we are celebrating All Saints' Day -- the ultimate healing for loved ones who have gone "to be with the saints." Is it easy to celebrate - yes. We can remember their love for us, know they still love us AND we will see them again -- definite things to celebrate. In some cases we can celebrate our loved one IS healed and no longer sick, or suffering. In some cases we celebrate our loved one being with God, and the saints, "only" because we believe in the Communion of the Saints -- our loved one died unexpectedly and/or way to young. In all cases we can celebrate the healing - even if it isn't "easy." The "easy" part is remembering the love of the person and the LOVE of God.