Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Today, in the first reading, we witness one of the pivotal moments in Salvation History. Here we have Abraham journeying to the top of a mountain the middle of the desert to sacrifice his only son to God. (Click the link to read more)

July 6, 2017

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 380

GN 22:1B-19

PS 115:1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9

MT 9:1-8


Today, in the first reading, we witness one of the pivotal moments in Salvation History.  Here we have Abraham journeying to the top of a mountain the middle of the desert to sacrifice his only son to God.    This was a common thing among the various religions of the time and it was believed that somehow sacrifice, especially human sacrifice, could bridge the rift between God and man and soothe an angry deity.  Abraham trusted in God to provide even from the start of the journey.  Did he believe God would raise Isaac from the dead?  Or that God would provide the ram from the very beginning?  Either way he trusted God enough to follow through with His instructions, to the point of having to be stopped by an Angel.  God showed us in this simple moment that obedience and faith were more powerful than any offering they have to give on their own.

Then fast forward in the Gospel to the time of Jesus.  At this point in time, people have come to believe that the sicker you are, the greater your sins.  The paralytic, the outsider, the leper; all of these would be the darkest of sinners.  Their destination was as far from God as possible and they would be avoided at all cost.  Jesus does something greater than any miracle we have witnessed so far, He heals the man's souls and forgives his sins.  The Jewish teachers gathered around were unable to comprehend what was going on.   So Jesus gave them a sign that would make it completely clear to them.  He healed the physical ailment.  This was proof that the sins were no longer there, as they were no longer manifested in the man as sickness, but rather he was now whole physically and spiritually.

We often forget that miracle occurs every day in the Church.   So many outside the faith and even many of those inside have lost sight of what Confession is really about.   Just look at the response of the people gathered around Jesus as they marvel that “God who had given such authority to men.”  Then we see Jesus send forth His disciples after breathing the Holy Spirit on them and declaring they are to forgive sins.  That’s what our Church is still doing today.  The successors of the Apostles have passed that authority on by laying of hands in direct lines that are traceable back to Jesus Himself.  We are so tied up in finding physical miracles, and yes they are still out there, that we forget the most powerful ones that occur right here every day in the Sacraments.   Jesus forgives the sinner and restores him to the community and then offers himself to them in the form of bread and wine that they might be strengthened for the journey.   

Do we take time each day to realize what a gift we’ve been given?  Are you struck with Awe at the amazing Gift that is the Church?   Do you glorify God for the forgiveness of sins and the gift of eternal life?  

His servant and yours,
Brian Mullins

"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my rock, and my redeemer. - Psalm 19:14