THURSDAY, THIRTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Gen 22:1-19; Ps 116:1-6,8-9; Mt 9:1-8
YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN
Sin is the rupture of the relationship between God and man. The effect of this rupture is seen in various levels of one’s existence. If its severest effect is felt in the soul, only the slightest is felt in the body. That is why looking at one’s bodily health or physical well-being or lack of it, one cannot simply conclude about his/her sins. Some of the great saints suffered the worst physical ailments in their lifetime; whereas some of the worst criminals enjoyed perfect physical health.
When the paralytic is brought, more than his physical ailment, Jesus sees in him his pathetic spiritual condition. That is why he forgives his sins, and only later, as if it was an afterthought or just to silence the murmuring scribes and Pharisees, he cures his physical ailment. We value what is visible – bodily health – whereas God values the soul which is invisible.
Maintaining good physical health through diet, exercise, etc. and encouraging others to do likewise is certainly important, especially during this pandemic. However, taking care of our spiritual health can never be over-emphasized. We ignore the spirit’s wellbeing because unlike our physical health we do not come to know about it. Even when we feel some sort of inner fatigue, restlessness, worry, tension, etc – signs of our soul’s failing health – we try to suppress it by distracting ourselves with pleasures and entertainment like the TV, the mobile, drinks, even drugs. Though, of course, spending time with nature, good friendships, doing some charity, spending time in silence, the sacraments, and prayer can improve our soul’s health, it is only God who can completely make it whole.
Let us thank the Lord for loving us and restoring us to the Father through his sacrifice on the cross. What Jesus did on that day for the paralytic he keeps doing even today. Let us dare to go to him, and take other paralytics along with us.
Response: I will walk in the presence of the Lord in the land of the living.
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