Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
FRIDAY, JANUARY 15th 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.”
- Sin is compared to leprosy, to deafness, to blindness. Today’s Gospel reminds us that sin is also compared to paralysis.
- Sometimes we are the paralytic. It seems impossible for us to convert from habitual sins – we feel caught in their grip.
- When Saint Faustina tried to overcome a certain imperfection, she found that it grew in frequency. Discouraged, she asked Our Lord, “Why?” He said it was because she tried to overcome it by her own efforts and will power, instead of turning to Him!
- Moreover, the devil seeks to trip us up in several ways: 1) the devil may convince us that it’s hopeless – we will never be able to give up certain sins. This leads us to despair and giving in to more and worse sins; 2) the devil may convince us that our sins aren’t so bad; others sin way worse than we do. This leads to complacency and compromising with evil; 3) The devil may convince us, like Saint Faustina, that we can overcome these sins by our own efforts and will power. This leads to false starts and false hopes that we can do this if we just keep trying, to little or no effect.
- All three of these tactics of the devil lead to a decline in virtue and increase in vice – the slippery slope that puts our salvation at risk!
- The solution is always the same – the Person of Jesus Christ. We can escape enslavement to sin with the help of the Divine Physician – without Him we can do nothing!
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
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!
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.” 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 we will be healed by Jesus in body, mind, heart and soul. Then we can be a wounded-healer to heal wounded humanity in this wounded world!
Copyright 2021 Oblates of the Virgin Mary
St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA