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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Jesus and the Mosquitoes

Ok, here's a question for you. I don't know if this can actually be answered....but I was pondering the other day this thought: Did Jesus ever get sick? At first thought it would seem, yes, "He was like us in all ways except sin" right? BUT really think about it, would God have allowed his holy, sinless and pure body to be prey to say...shigella? E coli? typhoid? Would He not have been all knowing and avoided tainted food? For that matter, would He have been bitten by bugs? Would some disgusting mosquito or tick be allowed to drink and defile His holy blood??

Ok, strange questions, but I'm wondering what others think.

We don't know what happened to Jesus from the time he was about two, when those 'brilliant' Magi* showed up, until he was twelve and lost at the Temple, and again from then until he began his ministry at age thirty.

I doubt he was ever sick. This is just my opinion.

We tend to go by what the Bible says and then we extrapolate from there to figure things out. For example, although the Bible never mentions the place we call Purgatory (which is just a name we came up with from the root word "purge") by name, there are a couple of passages in the Bible that mention 'praying for the dead'. Now, if there is no Purgatory, why would you have to pray for anyone dead? The dead either went to Heaven, where they need no prayers, or they went to Hell, where prayers do no good. There must be a place people go where they need prayers. It says so in the Bible.

Since the Bible never says word one about Jesus being sick, either He was never sick, or it isn't important for us to know about His stubbed toes, stomach flu or chicken pox. Either way, you can let it go.

Also, if He did get sick, He could heal Himself. Surely you thought of that?

For example, after the Last Supper, the disciples were either drunk or very lethargic from the Passover dinner. You may remember that they all fell asleep on Jesus there in the Garden of Gethsemane. My opinion is that they had one too many glasses of wine. That is certainly the way they were behaving, sprawled on the lawn, all eleven of them. I imagine that Jesus had just as much food and wine as everyone else had. He was still alert. If He had been having any problems, He could have snapped Himself out of it.

We also know that, to everyone's amazement, He spent all His time kissing and touching some fantastically sick individuals. He obviously wasn't worried about catching something.

Which, by the way, is a personal bugaboo of mine, all this worry about people have drinking out of the same chalice at Mass. Silly germaphobes. Obsessing over germs in the chalice of the Blood of Christ? Get a grip people. Hug a few lepers and head over to Mass. I guarantee you'll feel differently about the whole situation.

I'll wager bugs didn't bite Him either, even though in many pictures Jesus looks like just the sort of pale white man that bugs love. They may have landed on Him, realized with Whom they were dealing, and thought better of it. We never hear about Jesus fussing over bugs and animals one way or the other. He fusses over sick people, poor people, children, sinners and tax collectors. No cats or puppies.

If I were you, I wouldn't spend another moment thinking it over. You might, however, consider this a good reminder of the Corporal Works of Mercy.

*I have a problem with the Magi being called "Wise Men" when they strolled up to the world's most evil King and asked if he knew where they could find the 'New King'. What's up with that? "Wise Men" indeed. A six year old would have known better.


Faith said...

About the drinking at Passover. You are supposed to drink 4 glasses of wine as you pray the seder. Of course an actual seder can go on for hours! So even if they got a bit buzzed it probably would have worn off. But eating lots of food, drinking four glasses of wine and praying for 5 or 6 hours while you do it, can make you rather sleepy!

Donald said...

I am a winemaker. When in school (yes, you can go to school for winemaking; I went to UC Davis) one of my professors drilled into us that no human pathogens grow in wine. Even with transubstantation, the Body and Blood of Christ keep the accidents or appearance of bread and wine. Yay! A study was done at USC School of Medicine in the late nineties. A cup was filled with wine. The rim of the cup was wiped with various different pathogens, such as HIV, Hepatitis, influenza, TB, and so forth. The cup was tipped, submerging the infected area for a few seconds, and then the lip of the cup was wiped with a napkin, and allowed to air dry for about 30 sec before checking for survivors. Sound familiar??? Guess what? The acid and alcohol from the wine killed the bugs, every last one!

Bottom line: even if the guy in front of you in line looks like a leper, be not afraid, and recieve communion!

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered if Jesus zoned out. He was human, but he was perfect, so maybe not.

Anonymous said...

If you're afraid of germs, what's wrong with intinction (dipping the wafer into the cup) rather than sipping?

Anonymous said...

Donald for us 'germaphobes' there isn't 30 seconds between me and the next person. The idea of putting my lips to a cup where someone else's lips just left absolutely turns my stomach.
I know it doesn't make sense but I'm fine with animal manure, amniotic fluid, or pus on my person but another human's body secretions I just can't handle....

Anonymous said...


I think you are right in your opinion that Our Lord was never sick. Sickness came into the world through the first sin of man. Christ was sinless so how could he become ill? I'd wager that Our Lady was never sick either.

What are your thoughts concerning that?

Unknown said...

"...even though in many pictures Jesus looks like just the sort of pale white man that bugs love."

Thanks, SMM, for yet another LOL moment!

Sanctus Belle said...

Well, this was never a thought I spent much time on, nor obsessed about, I was simply interested in your and your readers thoughts. Thank you for your answer.

Anonymous said...

I think Jesus (and Mary) got sick. After all, he was like us in all things but sin. However, I agree with Sister that it just doesn't matter. Just like the Vatican astrologist's recent declaration about aliens, it's not important to our salvation, so we shouldn't dwell too much on it.

I hope no mosquitoes ever bit Jesus. The last thing we need in Heaven is a bunch of mosquitoes that drank the blood of Christ and gained eternal life.

june cleaver said...

Do you know why there is no record of Jesus from the age of 2 to 12? Because there were no blogs for Mary to script. What would she have said? "Today Jesus prayed, acted kindly toward all around him and told me he loves me at least 100 times. He is the perfect boy to raise." My guess is that she would not have many readers. I'm just sayin...

Anonymous said...

I would suggest that Christ may very well have gotten sick, and maybe even bitten by bugs. Consider that He revealed Himself only to those whom He wished. Perhaps He didn't want to reveal Himself to mosquitoes? (Mosquitoes, by the way, would not receive eternal life because they have no immortal souls).

So why would Jesus allow Himself to suffer sickness? I think there's good scriptural evidence for it. Consider that He suffered ridicule, torture and death for our salvation. It's not the same you say? Consider this passage from Isaiah chapter 53 (The Song of the Suffering Servant):

"He was spurned and avoided by men, a man of suffering, accustomed to infirmity, One of those from whom men hide their faces, spurned, and we held him in no esteem. Yet it was our infirmities that he bore, our sufferings that he endured, While we thought of him as stricken, as one smitten by God and afflicted.

Anonymous said...

A great post -- humour, common sense, and profundity to boot! Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I think Jesus got sick too. Of course he could have healed himself whenever he wanted- but he also could have turned those stones into tasty warm bread (and probably gotten butter too) and called the angels to rescue him from the cross. Hunger, pain and sickness seem to be part of the human condition. Jesus was a "person like us in all things but sin" not a "person like us but totally unaffected by the results of others' sin".

Anonymous said...

I don't know about Mary's blog being boring! It rocks my world that Jesus could ditch his parents and leave them frantic for three long days until they find him in the temple, and somehow in this He did not sin!

If He could do that, I bet there were lots of other interesting yet sinless things He could come up with.

Anonymous said...

Hello, could you please elaborate on the several verses in the Bible that refer to Purgatory? I'd like to find and underline them.

I've been told there's only one, which says, "You do well to pray for the dead."

From this, they extrapolated the whole doctrine, the fearful place of torment, Purgatory. I can't understand that.

I just have always dwelt on St. Paul's words, Philippians 1:21 "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."

And 2 Corinthians 5:6&8: "Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord:
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."

That is so refreshing and encouraging!

If there were a Purgatory, I really believe St. Paul would have mentioned it then.

We are warned about adding to God's commandments and teachings:

Matthew 15:9
"But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Mark 7:7
"Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men."

Colossians 2:22
"Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men?"

Titus 1:14
"Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth."

Could this be a "commandment of men, that turns from the truth"?

God bless, thank you, Sister.

Anonymous said...

To me, it doesn't make sense that Jesus would be sick. He was the new Adam, the perfect Adam--what the original was supposed to be. And wouldn't that include both body and soul--the total man???

Since Jesus never came "under the influence" of Original Sin, why would He suffer the effects of Original Sin? Just a thought. And of course, neither belief is essential for our salvation, but it's an interesting question, nonetheless.

God Bless,

Embattled Catholic

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Donald for us 'germaphobes' there isn't 30 seconds between me and the next person. The idea of putting my lips to a cup where someone else's lips just left absolutely turns my stomach."

I believe the cup is TURNED after each person, so that by the time a spot comes around again, it has been at least 30 seconds since the last person has used that position on the cup.