The WORD in Other Words by Fr Bel San Luis SVD (Philippines) for Friday Week 1 in Ordinary Time
Why did the Lord Jesus say to the paralyzed man in today’s gospel: “Child, your sins are forgiven”? Psychologists and social scientists, based on many years of observation, say that harboring grudges and resentments is poisonous and literally make people sick physically. And forgiveness, being at peace with everybody, does more to make them well than pills and medicines do. Physical healing is achieved through spiritual healing.
In all the healing episodes of Jesus, the common denominator is the faith of the sick person or other people like the sick person’s friends. In the gospel story, we find the sick man’s friends taking the trouble of climbing up the roof and making a passage to lower him, manifesting their strong faith and confidence in Jesus’ healing power.
A lawyer friend of mine attests that his father inherited the sickly constitution of their grandfather. His doctors warned him of his early death by the time he reached 50. But he says, “Father and mother refused to believe the doctors. They doubled their prayers by making extra devotions to the Holy Trinity, the Holy Family and Our Mother of Perpetual Help, and attended more Masses.” He says, “I know this because I accompanied them. Tatay (father) died at the age of 82 in 1986. Most of his doctors who predicted his early demise died ahead of him, except the last doctor who was very young then!”
What kind of faith do you have? Is it persevering and resourceful like that of the paralyzed man and his friends? Like those “never-say-die” friends, do we exert enough effort to get what we want?
As the great St. Augustine put it: “Pray as if everything depended on God; work as if everything depended on you.”