Then and Now

by Mark Chmiel

Why had I never noticed the number of sick who appear in the Gospels? Who or what made them sick? Political oppression, legal degradation, economic plunder, and religious neutrality …. Extreme misery prevailed within this pax romana. When you consider the New Testament as a whole, it  is truly astonishing how many sick people abound, how they are gravely and incurably ill, the paralyzed, and the psychically ill, who are connected with demons, on nearly every page of this book. Sickness, misery, despair, and hopelessness seethed everywhere on the edges of this empire, where the poor lived.

–Dorothee Sölle, On Earth as It Is in Heaven: A Liberation Spirituality of Sharing