Friday, January 15, 2021

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

Four men are so concerned about their friend who sufferers bodily paralysis, compelled to be carried on a stretcher of sorts by carrying people, that they bring him to Jesus, the healer. Maybe, just maybe he can do something for this man. But there was such a crowd around the house where Jesus was staying that these four guys, so determined to help their friend, went on too if the roof and cut a hole in and lowered their friend down. Talk about being determined!! I’m not sure the owner of that house was so pleased.

Jesus gives this paralyzed man more than he bargained for: he forgives him of his sin FIRST. These words of forgiveness caused quite a stir with some in the room, religious leaders, of course, who were thinking to themselves that these words of Jesus were blasphemous, for only God can forgive. Knowing these thoughts of the Scribes, Jesús does something more to witness to his authority: he cures the man of his PHYSICAL paralysis!!! This healing came AFTER he forgives the man; the forgiveness is more significant over the physical healing.

Jesus brings together beautifully the deep connection between our body and soul. What goes on deep within our hearts has an effect on our bodies. My mom was a woman who had a difficult childhood living with her own mother who suffered from mental illness. My mom absorbed the pain and anxiety which had consequences for her physical well being in her later years.

It’s the emotional and spiritual wounds that are far more significant than our physical maladies. If we are healed WITHIN, we can deal with ANYTHING, even when we don’t experience physical healing. Jesus didn’t heal everyone’s physical illnesses, but forgiveness of our sins is there for everyone at every time.

My mom paid a terrible price for containing the mental anguish of her mom, my grandmother, who was sick in so many ways but loved in many more. Jesus wants all of us healed from the wounds of our sins, of which we have some control , and the wounds of living a difficult life of struggle with realities, of which we have no control. What INNER wound in your heart needs to be healed?

Fr. Frank