July 1, 2021 – Thursday 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/070121.cfm)
Jesus said in our gospel today: “Take heart, son. Your sins are forgiven.” The paralytic & his friends came for healing, but they rather received more than what they bargain for. Instead, they got encouragement & forgiveness from Jesus. Yes, their present immediate concern must be for healing from physical paralysis. But beyond the hopeless bodily outward condition of the paralytic, his friends & himself must have felt the guilt, shame & curse of the inner condition of the paralysis and sickness. Beyond & more than physical healing, deep inside, the paralytic & his friends need & are longing for mental, emotional & spiritual healing. This is what Jesus gave them – not only physical healing but moreso, encouragement & forgiveness, – not only healing of body but more so, healing & health of whole life of the cured paralytic & his friend.
For the scribes, however, the whole miracle happened is a blasphemy. For the scribes, not only the physical healing of the paralytic but above all the forgiveness of sins are complete violation of their religious law. They saw more the violation rather than the miracle happened. Jesus admonished their actions & attitudes, & showed themselves & the crowd His authority beyond their religious laws. Healing & forgiveness are His’ because He is of God.
And all of these happened because Jesus saw and knew their hearts. Jesus saw the faith of the paralytic & his friends. Jesus saw the evil thoughts and hearts of the scribes as well. Jesus knew their hearts. And Jesus knows the condition of our hearts as well. Our hearts are known to Him as well.
A lot of things are happening in our lives nowadays. At the very surfaced level, lots of things going on, lots of pressures & stresses to cope with. We do have a lot on our plates – urgent pressing concerns. But what is the condition of our hearts? How are we deep inside ourselves? Like the scribes, at times, we do have our evil thought & bad hearts. Like the paralytic & his friends, many at times we do feel broken, hopeless, tired & confused with life nowadays.
Be mindful then that the Lord knows how & where are hearts is. Our hearts are known to Him, for He sees what we deeply need at this time. Same way as he saw the faith of Abraham, He sees also our faith & our heart’s desire. He is with Us indeed, but also He is of God. He has the power & authority to respond for what we really need, – not only our urgent need but the heart’s desire of our whole person & life.
Perhaps as we go through this day & this week, we ask & reflect on the condition of our hearts these days. What is happening in our hearts these days? We do believe our Lord wants us to be healthy & whole. What is he offering us these days? Encouragements, forgiveness, admonitions & guidance? How is he restoring us inwardly? How is he helping us to stand up tall & alive amidst life-challenges?
Here we are now, Lord. We come to you as we are. You know our present concerns & our heart’s desire. We do believe in You & that You will what is best & better for us. Make us also see same way as You see us, so that may we be willingly participate with the miracle You are performing for us now & always. Amen.