A catholic in dialogue

A Man of God


I saw a rerun of the TV series “Mysterious Ways” this afternoon.  The episode is called “A Man of God” and is about a tele-evangelist whom Declan Dunn (Adrian Pasdar) investigates.  He would have exposed the evangelist as a fraud if not for the discovery that he could really heal when the crowds and the cameras are away.  The story explores tele-evangelism and its commercialism.  Towards the end of the episode, the evangelist returns to his obscure beginnings and his desire to go back to it.  His wife insists that he continue with the ministry as she has determined it to be.  In the end, the evangelist brings his healing power to the poor and cures them in anonymity.

Nice story.  It received a 9.1 rating at TV.Com.  The Servant-motif of the gospels was the underpinning of the story.  In the Gospels, Jesus shows himself to be the Son of God and binds the demon by his refusal to use his powers for his own benefit, to begin his ministry with a marvelous feat and to worship the Devil.  The evangelist was getting rich from his ministry and — through the manipulation of his wife — was making himself popular with it.  His healing power becomes ineffective in an atmosphere that favors greater income and greater popularity.  The death of his own brother shocked him to the awareness that his commercialized ministry can no longer continue.  The private healing of a young girl made him realize that if he were to continue his work, it must be for those who are truly helpless and in secret.  The bible passage that Declan Dunn reads in the show about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing, underlines the story’s thematic.

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