The Gospel Today
Memorial of Anthony, Abbot
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
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.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”
–he said to the paralytic,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino Volante):
“We have never seen anything like this.” These are the words that struck me in today’s Gospel, and also left a big question to me. Was there a time in my life when I would utter these words? Would it also take a miracle for me to say, “I have never seen anything like this!”
Whenever I would have the chance to go to other places, I try not to sleep in the car so that I can appreciate the view that I would be passing by. And as what I have observed, the provincial roads that I have passed by all look the same. The most memorable and beautiful road that I have passed by is the road going to Sagada and Banawe in the Mountain Province.
We went to Baguio to attend one of the seminary’s formation programs. After the program, we went to Sagada then to Banawe before going back to the seminary. The travel was very long, but it was worth wile. Everything that we passed by was very beautiful: the picturesque Mountain View, the very structured rice terraces, and the chance to travel in a zero visibility route on top of a mountain! This experience made me say, “I have never seen anything like this!”
Whenever I would recall the experience, I would always think of God. How good of an architect, builder and designer He is. I feel that this experience is a miracle. The unexpected beauty of nature and the greatness of how God created things is already a miracle itself. I feel that I don’t need to look for a spectacular and out of this world event to happen. God is already giving me a miracle every day that I have to discover. I can consider my entrance to the Seminary also as a miracle. Miracles do happen; we just have to open our senses to feel the love of God, which is a miracle in itself.