Readings for Monday December 7, 2009
First Reading: Isaiah 35:1-10
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 85
Gospel: Luke 5:17-26
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 Jesus 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.” (Lk 5:19-26)
In today's gospel, we read of the healing of the paralytic. There is so much that we can take out of this story, the pharisees disbelief in Christ's power, the perseverance of the friends, the sheer miracles that Jesus performs; but the thing that I find the most interesting is how before Jesus heals the man, He forgives him of his sins first. When reading this, it got me thinking about something, is it important that we are first forgiven before healing can take place? I think that most things have a natural order, and I think that it only makes since that before we being healing from a life of sin, that we must be forgiven first.
If we want to heal from any sort of emotional or spiritual hurt or pain, the first step is either to forgive or be forgiven. If there is no forgiveness, then healing cannot take place. Forgiveness is such a powerful gift, one that is freely given by God to man. Jesus came into this world to not only heal and teach us, but to give us freedom from sin through mercy and forgiveness. But if we fail to realize why Jesus came into this world and to recognize that He truly does forgive us for all of our sins; then if we fail to realize these two important things, then healing cannot begin.
Ask yourself today, is there something that I am sorry for that I need to say I'm sorry and ask for God's forgiveness? Is there someone in my life that I have been hurt by that I am having trouble forgiving? Jesus is our perfect model, if He can forgive, then all of us can and should forgive; it is the only way that healing can begin for anybody. If you are having trouble finding the grace to forgive, ask God for the strength.
Healing begins with forgiveness.
Father above, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, thank you for all that you give and all that you bless us with each and every day. Lord, you are so good to us, help us to live a life that honors and glorifies you. We pray for the wisdom to know and carry out your will. We pray for all those in need of conversion in their hearts. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.