The land of the Holy One is often described as the Fifth Gospel. When you visit Capernaum, you can see and touch the remains of a village built in the C2 BC. You can hear the sound of the sea (right ahead in the picture) on which fishermen would sail, like St Paul himself. There is the dwelling thought to be St Peter’s house, over which an octagonal church now stands. We know Jesus was here.      

The gospel reading today (John 4:43-54) recounts a healing miracle: a royal official’s son in Capernaum is on his death bed. The official begs Jesus to come and heal his son: ‘Go, your son will live’, Jesus replies.

Talk about healing and social distancing.…

Here is an example of healing through the word, performed by the Word made flesh. ‘Only say the word and I shall be healed’.

As the world is stricken by a pandemic, staying at a safe distance from one another is a way of caring for each other. We only have our words to touch and heal. While the hug of a loved one or the possibility to simply hold hands can ordinarily bring us so much comfort and healing, and speak volumes, now is perhaps a time to be more mindful of our words that, through Christ in us, they may bring that comfort and healing which we all need.