READINGS for 2007-12-10
“We have seen incredible things today.” – Luke 5:26
So you’ve watched the movie too? The Dad with super strength, the Mom who stretches from building to building, the girl ho turns invisible, and the boy who runs like the Flash?
Of course, with the multi-gifted, metamorphing, fiery baby too!
Weren’t they Incredible? But they weren’t real.
Jesus was for real. And He did perform incredible things! Jesus IS for real and he CONTINUES to perform incredible things!
But you know what’s also truly incredible about today’s Gospel of the paralytic man healed by Jesus? His friends carrying him on a stretcher, going up the roof, scraping off the tiles, and lowering him in the middle of a full house so that he lands right in front of Jesus!
Now that’s incredible!
Why, even Jesus was amazed at their astonishing faith!
And the paralytic man ended up standing, picking up his own stretcher, and going home glorifying God!
You wanna see something incredible? You wanna BE incredible?
Then have that persistent faith, go in front of Jesus, and believe that something truly amazing will happen.
Incredible? Real. Alvin B.
Recall an incredible experience you had with God. Be awed and amazed at it again.
Lord, You have done great and mighty things in me. Thank You for being so real in my life.
The reading has much imagery of lush and fertile land to symbolize for us the Land of Promise. For the Jews this is the land attached to the promises that God made to Abraham; for Christians we see it as the land of eternal life or heaven. In both instances it is a now and not yet reality. That is, we have begun to experience it but have not yet experienced it in its fullness. The hope of the latter experience is what keeps us going in our walk with the Lord.
1 The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. 2 They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the LORD, the splendor of our God. 3 Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, 4 say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with divine recompense he comes to save you. 5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; 6 then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the dumb will sing. Streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. 7 The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; the abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. 8 A highway will be there, called the holy way; no one unclean may pass over it, nor fools go astray on it. 9 No lion will be there, nor beast of prey go up to be met upon it. It is for those with a journey to make, and on it the redeemed will walk. 10 Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return and enter Zion singing, crowned with everlasting joy; they will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.
P S A L M
Psalm 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
R: Our God will come to save us!
8  I will hear what God proclaims; the LORD—for he proclaims peace to his people. 9  Near indeed is his salvation to those who fear him, glory dwelling in our land. (R) 10  Kindness and truth shall meet; justice and peace shall kiss. 11  Truth shall spring out of the earth, and justice shall look down from heaven. (R) 12  The LORD himself will give his benefits; our land shall yield its increase. 13  Justice shall walk before him, and salvation, along the way of his steps. (R)
G O S P E L
One of the great attractions of heaven for the Christian is that it will be a place where everything is perfect. There will be no more sin and suffering. This is why the miracles of Jesus give us hope. They are a foretaste of the glory that we will live in when we receive the fullness of salvation at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, that is, if we are faithful to following God’s will.
17 One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. 18 And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. 19 But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. 20 When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.” 21 Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” 22 Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” — he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” 25 He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. 26 Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
think: How are we bringing the reality of heaven present on earth?
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Ephesians 1-6
THE HEALING HIMSELF
Jesus is not only our Healer. He is our very Healing Himself. He comes not only to heal us. He wishes to dwell in us. Christmas is “Jesus-coming-tous.” Eucharist is “Jesus-dwelling-in-us.” The first is order to the second. Christmas makes Eucharist possible while Eucharist gives Christmas its fullest significance.
Let us pray not only for physical or spiritual healing. Let us pray for the Healer Himself to come to us and dwell in us. Let us ask for healing, but let us not forget to receive the Healer Himself. Let’s get our selves ready for Christmas, but let us not fail to prepare for the Eucharist.
Christmas is a commemoration of an event in the past. The Eucharist is an everyday event. There is no meaning in our Christmas celebration if the Lord, born for us and given to us on Christmas day, is left ignored in the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the source of all healing. Let us receive Jesus in the Eucharist everyday.
Jesus forgives and heals in the Gospel today. He forgives the paralytic man of all his sins because forgiveness is more important than physical healing. Healing comes only after being forgiven because Healing is Jesus Himself who dwells in a heart cleansed from sin. Fr. Bobby T.
REFLECTION QUESTION: Am I healed?
Jesus, heal me. Touch me and make me well again. Forgive me from all my sins and dwell in my heart. Give me greater love for the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. You are my Healer. You are my Healing Yourself. Amen.
St. Gregory III, Pope, pray for us.
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