13th Week OT (R)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Priory, NOLA
The Great Physician treats his paralyzed patient's paralysis as both a physical and spiritual dis-ease. Our Lord forgives his sins, and his body is freed to move as it should. This treatment is astonishing enough – certainly astonishing enough to infuriate Jesus' religious enemies – but what's more astonishing is what, or rather who, motivated the Lord to heal the paralytic in the first place. The man himself didn't ask to be healed. His friends asked for healing on his behalf. Seeing his friends' faith, the Lord says, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” That this man is healed on the strength of his friends' faith is a great sign of hope for us. Not only are we freed to ask for healing for ourselves but we are also freed to ask for healing for one another, and to receive that healing regardless of who asks for it. This is how the Body, the Church, works – not as atomized individuals, floating around each to his own in a Just Me and Jesus relationship, but as a single, faithful organism pointed irrevocably toward a supernatural end. Are we suitably struck with awe that this healing authority has been given to us?
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