Ticket Home – Good News for July 2

2 07 2009

Matthew 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.

The Daily Path: From what Matthew writes in today’s Gospel, it was faith that brought this man a ticket home. Can we leave our stretchers and the crutches we lean on during this life? Can we have the same faith to get up and follow Christ’s path home to the Father?  

Room to Chat: I want to find some opportunities today to present myself to Jesus.

Pick Up Your Mat – Good News for February 22

22 02 2009

Isaiah 43:18-19; 25

Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?… It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.

Mark 2:1-12

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 the paralytic, “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.”

The Daily Path: Not that long ago, I was deeply troubled by some things that had occurred in my past. In my younger days I had committed some terrible sins. The memory of these acts were painful and had grown to haunt me no end. Finally, I decided to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is another story in and of itself. 

During the course of my confession, Father said some things that struck home and have stayed with me since that day. He told me: “Jesus knows what is in your heart.” He also went on to suggest that “I had to forgive myself.”

These words came to mind as I reflect on today’s readings. In Isaiah we hear that we have to let go of the past because God forgives us and then forgets our sin. He’s moved on so it’s time for us to do the same.

In Mark’s Gospel, he writes that Jesus knew what was in the hearts of the Pharisees when the paralytic was brought before Him. Jesus knows what is in our own hearts, too.  

While I will always regret the transgressions of my past, I no longer carry them around like the heavy chains of Jacob Marley. Jesus knew I was truly sorry. Understanding that was enough to allow me to let the healing begin.

Room to Chat: Find a moment to examine your heart and let God heal your wounds.