Memorial of Saint John of the Cross, Priest and Doctor of the Church
“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 14th Mk. 2: 1-12 “They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.”
We continue on the theme of sin in today’s Gospel. Four men go to great lengths to bring a paralytic before Jesus. What are the first words Jesus says? “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Sickness of the body, in and of itself, does not send us to hell, but sickness of the soul if not cured can indeed send us to hell! A blind man once asked Padre Pio to heal him of his blindness. The Saint said he could do that, but if the man was healed of his blindness, he would lose his soul for all eternity!
HEALING OF THE PARALYTIC: JESUS CAME TO HEAL!!! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
Wounded, scarred, paralyzed, aching and limping—all words that describe you and me in our spiritual state of soul! We are all wounded because of Original Sin, and also due to personal sin. Good News! There is a “Healer” and His name is Jesus. Let us turn to His healing presence and power!
1. THE PARALYTIC! First, each of us has to recognize, “I am that paralytic!” Sin is a form of “moral paralysis.” From conception and birth until now, our souls experience paralysis. But there is good news! There is a Healer!
2. THE STRETCHER-BEARERS! Call to mind how many “stretcher-bearers” God has sent into your life to bring you to Jesus, the Healer. Rewind the film of your life and see these providential persons—call them Good Samaritans—whom God placed in your path that resulted in your encountering Jesus the Healer! Give thanks!
(Stop now, take time to look back on your life and recall those persons who helped bring you to where you are today in your spiritual journey. Thank God and say a prayer for them.)
3. PATIENCE, PERSISTENCE, PERSEVERANCE AND POWER! The place where Jesus was teaching was packed! But these stretcher-bearers did not give up! Let us learn not to give up. Remember the words of Knute Rockne: “When the going gets tough, the tough get going.” Jesus confirmed this, “By your patience, you will save your soul.” (Lk 21:19)
4. CREATIVITY / INGENUITY! Wow! Climbing up on the roof and lowering the man down through the roof on a stretcher. How admirable their perseverance, but also their creativity! Where there is a will, there is a way. To encounter Jesus, no sacrifice should be too big!
5. PROPER ORDER OF VALUES! Jesus first heals his sins: “Your sins are forgiven.” In your life, your soul has infinite value. Your soul is worth more than the whole created universe! (Saint Thomas Aquinas) You were redeemed not with the blood of goats or calves, nor with silver or gold, but by the Blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! (1 Pt 1:18-19)
6. CRITICS OF JESUS. Jesus is criticized! Let us learn to control our tongue. Remember the words of Saint James, “We should be slow to speak and quick to listen.” (Jas 1:19) Read James, Chapter 3:1-12 on the dangers of the sins of the tongue!
7. HEALING! “Get up, take your mat, and go home!” Let us ask Jesus to heal us of our paralysis! Let us have recourse to Confession which heals us of our spiritual paralysis so we can walk, run, and fly high after Jesus! The Christian was made to fly high in the spiritual atmosphere of God’s love and holiness. Lord, give us these wings!!!
8. DANGERS! What persons, places and things have led us into the paralyzed state of sin in the past? Let us make a firm purpose to avoid them now and may God’s grace assist us!
9. PARALYZED HUMANITY! After you have been healed, place on the “mat”—the altar in Holy Mass—all those you know and love who indeed are paralyzed in sin but are too blind to admit it. Or they simply prefer sickness over health. With the priest, lift these loved ones on high during the Consecration at Mass. It is the same Healing Jesus who is Present and capable of healing them, as well as us!
10. MARY, HEALTH OF THE SICK! In Lourdes, France many miracles of healing take place every year. The miraculous waters have healed countless sick bodies. However, the most numerous healings occur in the early evening when Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament is exposed in the monstrance and taken in procession. May the prayers of Mary, “Health of the sick”, come to our rescue so that Jesus will heal us in body, mind, heart and soul. Then we can be a wounded-healer to heal wounded humanity in this wounded world!