We pray + in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (5:17-26).
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”
Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”- he said to the one who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, O Lord!
Reflection: Jesus- the Divine Physician! This is probably the easiest way that I identify with Jesus. I’m still working on getting my heart and head around Jesus as my Brother but I have no problem praying to Him as the Divine Physician; He that is capable of healing and restoring and even of raising from the dead. But Jesus healing ministry is always less about the physical dimension of that healing and more about the spiritual healing that each one of us need. Notice the Gospel reading today, he tells the man that his sins are forgiven- that’s a spiritual act. There are many things to say here, but I’ll limit myself to one: we all need spiritual healing. We all yearn to hear those words from Jesus: ‘Your sins are forgiven.’ If it’s been a while I invite you to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation. In that sacrament, Jesus himself is present in the person of the priest; we enter the confessional lying on a stretcher, weighed down by our sins; we present our sins to Jesus and listen to those beautiful words of absolution offered by the priest. Those words of absolution will resonant in your ear and heart as deeply as the paralyzed man heart the words of Jesus: Craig Thomas, your sins are forgiven. I say to you rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home!
We pray: may our pray of petition rise before you, we pray, O Lord, that, with purity unblemished, we your servants, may come, as we desire, to celebrate the great mystery of the Incarnation of your Only Begotten Son. We ask through our Lord, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us!
In the + name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.