Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
“…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…” (From Matthew 9:1-8)
What do you need to be loosened up from?
The Sacrament of Reconciliation concludes with the Prayer of Absolution, as the priest says, in part, “…I absolve you from your sins.” Simply defined, the word “absolve” means, “to free, release, or loosen one up from.” In this sacrament God desires to loosen us up from whatever binds us. I can’t help but think of these words whenever I read today’s Gospel passage. While illness is definitely not a punishment for sin, this moment in the life of the paralytic serves as a reminder of the power of Christ to completely forgive and cleanse us. Every time we seek and receive forgiveness, it is as if Jesus is saying to us, “get up now and walk, free again.”
After spending one week in I.C.U. and a second week in a regular room on the cardiac floor back in 2004, there came a day when the doctor said to me, “go home now and live your life.” I can only imagine how the paralytic of the Gospel must have felt. It took several doctors and nurses to get me to the point of being able to go home again and “live my life.” Coming before Christ to be loosened up, especially, from our sin is nowhere nearly as complicated. We simply need to trust that God’s mercy is limitless. As we stand before the Lord in our brokenness, he invites us, “take my hand, and let me help you to get up and walk again!”