If the Apostles could heal, why can’t priests do the same?

The Acts of the Apostles describes miracles performed by the Apostles as they travelled the earth bringing the Good News of Christ to all nations. If the Holy Spirit gave them the gift to raise the dead and heal the sick, why can’t our priests today do the same?

“After Jesus went back to heaven and he sent down the Holy Spirit to the disciples and they were given the power to heal and to forgive sins and things like that, and I’m wondering if priests are modern-day [Apostles], why aren’t they able to heal?” asked Carlos.

“Well, some are. I’ve seen healing miracles in my priesthood exercised through the priesthood of Jesus Christ in priests. I’ve seen even one priest raise someone from the dead, so it doesn’t not happen,” responded Msgr. Stuart Swetland, Chief Religion Correspondent on Relevant Radio®. “God’s gifts of the Holy Spirit are given as they’re given. Now there are also some laypeople that have been given the gift of healing. I know of religious sisters that have been given that gift as well.”

While some are given miraculous gifts to heal the sick and perform other miracles through the Holy Spirit, the Church usually works in different ways.

“The ordinary way that the Church ministers healing gifts today is through the massive and wonderful outreach of our Catholic healthcare system. So grace builds on nature, and just like at the beginning the Church was given the particular gifts on tongues so that the Gospel could be proclaimed to all the different people gathered in Jerusalem in all their languages. Now, of course, the way God works that is through the hard work of learning languages and sending missionaries who are enculturated and linguistically gifted to all the earth,” said Msgr. Swetland. “So those miracles continue but they continue in different ways. And I’ll tell you—there are charismatic miracles and I see them all the time.”

The greatest miracles in the Church today occur on a daily basis across the world—even in our local community and parish. Msgr. said, “And of course the greatest miracles that happen every day is the sacraments themselves, which because of the action done, always confer the grace of the sacrament.”

Hear the answer:

Hear more from Msgr. Swetland on Go Ask Your FatherTM and special weekly segments on Morning Air®.

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.