Fr. Matt’s Amazing Health News

Dear Resurrection Family, 

Seventeen days ago, I was stunned to receive a diagnosis of esophageal cancer. Two days ago, I was just as stunned to hear the following words from my oncologist: margins negative, no chemo, no radiation, no surgery.  I’ll need follow up scopes every 3-6 months, but today I’m cancer-free. Here’s my son Dr. Matt’s summary of the technical medical notes in my chart: “Basically, it says you had cancer and they got it.” Well, okay, but WOW, that was a wild 15 days!

My oncologist kept saying, “I guess you were lucky.” My primary care doctor had a different take. He said, “The Good Lord was watching out for you, Matt. In my 40 years of medical practice I have never seen a case of esophageal cancer get diagnosed and treated this early.” I hesitate to label things “miraculous” (although life itself, every breath I take, and our redemption in Jesus are all VERY miraculous), but the impeccable timing of catching and treating this cancer sure seems to qualify.

Many of you have shared beautiful Scripture verses with me, but these verses hit home the most:

“For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living” (Romans 14:8–9).

This short ordeal has convinced me even more that the goal of life isn’t just to live a long life (although I’d also be grateful for that). The goal of life is to live for the Lord and belong to him. Then no matter what happens, we’re in his hands—through life and in death. And we’ll experience our greatest miracle of all: the power of Jesus’ resurrection.

I am so thankful to all of you. You loved me and my family so well during this short but scary and intense journey. I love this church! I am grateful for your prayers, your words from Scripture, calls, emails, texts, and on-the-ground help. May the “Good Lord” (as my doctor said) grant us the wonder and joy of walking together over many years.

Warmly in Christ,



Fr. Matt Woodley
Cathedral Vicar 

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// Church of the Resurrection