July 4, 2013

The Gospel Today

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
:Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
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 then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Reflection (Sem. Julius V. de Gracia):

Our Lord Jesus hears the surging emotions of our hearts than the murmuring of our mouths. For if we reflect carefully, what comes out of us is the overflow of what is within us. And in the long run what comes out of us becomes a habit, good if it helps us to get nearer to God and influence others to do so, but if it’s the opposite it’s a sad thing for a follower of Christ.

I would like to point out the two kinds of paralysis that is present in our gospel today, and it’s beneficial for us to reflect more on ourselves and assess ourselves, wither what kind of paralysis is present in me? The paralysis of the man brought to Jesus is “physical paralysis” that perhaps prevented him with so many things from doing, but he did not surrender to that paralysis. He took the rare opportunity in meeting Jesus through the intercession of others. He was eventually healed. But the second kind of paralysis came in, that “paralysis of the heart” of the Scribes. Instead of seeing the goodness, the generosity and the immense love of Jesus toward the sick, they accused Jesus as a blasphemer. That is why Jesus asked them; “Why do you think evil in your hearts?” (Mt. 9:4) Yes, Jesus more than reacting to the accusation, He addressed the starting point of evil, and that is in the hearts of the scribes.

Brothers and sisters, it’s good to ask ourselves now, “Do I have a paralysis of the heart?”, wherein I refuse and fail to see the goodness of God and others in my life?”

We have the “paralysis of the heart”, if we continue to fail to recognize the goodness of others like our parents, brothers and sisters, our teachers, employers and friends and even of ourselves. These will eventually lead to our ingratitude toward the goodness of God in our lives. Yes, my brothers and sisters, God is telling you and me that we are to look at persons, events of the past, circumstances and even perhaps of institutions that became part of our lives in the eyes like that of God. Seeing not just the mistakes but as well highlighting the hope of goodness in each in every one of us, since all of us came from Him the All Good God, personified in Jesus Christ.

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