The WORD in other words by Fr Alan Meechan SVD (Sta Rosa de Lima Mission Area, Aurora, Naujan, Oriental Mindoro)
Friday 5th Week in Ordinary Time
When I offered to anoint a sick old lady who had formerly been very active in the Church along with her family, she replied doubtingly, “If it will do any good.” Her statement met with stunned silence from the whole family.
Just as the serpent had corrupted Eve, a born-again who visited regularly had used specious negative arguments to cast doubt on important principles of her faith. Taking advantage of her physical weakness, he had sought to demolish certainties that had previously been carefully nurtured in her life.
Today, “saved” people who are sure that they are right frequently cast doubt on what is important for us, often greatly damaging our relations with each other and both our faith and our communal relationship with the Lord. We can no longer trust each other to help us grow, and we are now constantly open to being taken advantage of by another.
Frequently we can no longer ask the other for disinterested help, and relations between human beings are often based on the question: “What’s in it for me?” Joseph Krempa says, “The parable of the first sin spotlights the resulting breakdown of the invisible bonds of community that until now had been taken for granted. From this point, people will have to work hard to restore trust among themselves.”
Jesus’ life, teaching, and miracles nevertheless still work towards bringing us back to how we should be. Scott Hahn writes in Signs of Life about the paralytic in Mark 2: “The physical was simply an outward sign of the general healing, the inner, spiritual healing. The forgiveness of sins, of course, was the more important, being the one to which Jesus gave primacy with the paralytic.”
Note that other people brought the deaf man to Jesus, as in today’s Gospel passage also. This points to the still extant invisible bonds of community within the Church, which still prevail in our spiritual lives. We are still not alone. We still have God and each other in the Church.