The following reflection is courtesy of Regnum Christi © 2020. Regnum Christi website is located at RegnumChristi.org https://www.regnumchristi.org/en/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Dec-07_mixdown.mp3 Memorial of Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church Father Frank Formolo, LC Luke 5:17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.” Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’ But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the one who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord, you are the author of all things and you have power to forgive sins. Though my faith is still weak, I do believe in you. And I also trust in your goodness and mercy. Here I am before you in prayer, longing once more to love you with all my mind, heart, soul and strength.
Petition: Lord, help me to seek you in my life above all else. The Pharisees’ Faith: The Pharisees sat in front of Christ watching him cure the sick. Earlier they had seen many other miracles, but despite what they saw they could not bring themselves to believe in Christ. Miracle after miracle couldn’t change their mind. Jesus decides to give them a decisive miracle so that they will believe. He decides to cure the paralytic to show his power to forgive sins. Since disease for the Pharisees was a sign of sin, they should have been ready to accept Jesus’ message of healing and forgiveness. But they were too wrapped up in seeking their own plans and protecting their own honor to discern God’s loving mercy behind what they witnessed. How often do we want God to give us a sign so we can follow his plan? And how often are we not open to what he tells us, simply and directly because we’re too focused on achieving our own plans? The Paralytic’s Faith: The paralytic needed no signs. He believed Jesus could help him. His faith was so strong he would not let the difficulties overcome him. He couldn’t walk so he found someone to carry him. When he arrived, he couldn’t get to Christ, so his men brought him in through the roof. He was determined to see Christ because he knew what Christ could do for him. His faith was so strong it moved him to action. He had a living faith, which goes far beyond mere ideas. His faith moved him to find our Lord no matter the difficulties. What have I done to seek Christ, to meet him face to face? What have I been prepared to do in order to receive his grace? Do I give up my prayer or my apostolate at the first difficulty? For God’s Glory: Jesus didn’t perform this miracle for himself or his own glory. He sought only God’s glory. We see how everyone glorifies God after the miracle. It’s almost as if Christ is forgotten. Christ sought only to do what would glorify the Father. How often do we seek our own glory when we work on the apostolate or perform an act of charity? How often do we hope someone will remember us and say, “Thank you,” although we are here to build Christ’s Kingdom for God’s glory alone? We need to constantly renew our purity of intention.
Conversation with Christ: Lord, how great was the faith of the paralytic! He was humble enough to find you and strong enough in his faith that nothing could keep him from you. Grant me the gift of a humble heart and a strong faith so I can be constant and dedicated in seeking to encounter you in my life and in fulfilling your will for your glory and the good of others alone. Resolution: Today I will look for solutions to the problems that come my way, and I will renew my intention to perform my duties for God’s glory throughout the day.
December 7, 2020 – The Paralytic Versus the PhariseesDaily Meditation 00:00 / 5:59 1X Download file | Play in new window | Duration: 5:59 Share Share Post: December 6, 2020 – Preparing for Christmas The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager © 2020. Don's website is located at Dailyscripture.net Is there anything in your life that keeps you from receiving the blessings of God's kingdom? The prophets foretold that when the Messiah came to usher in God's kingdom the blind would see, the deaf hear, and the lame walk (Isaiah 35:5-6). Jesus not only brought physical healing, but healing of mind, heart, and soul as well. Jesus came to bring us the abundant life of God's kingdom (John 10:10). But that new life and transformation can be stifled by unbelief, indifference, and sinful pride. Sin cripples us far more than any physical ailment can. Sin is the work of the kingdom of darkness and it holds us in eternal bondage. There is only one solution and that is the healing, cleansing power of Jesus' forgiveness. The coming of God's kingdom restores, heals, and brings pardon and new life Jesus' treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day. When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable. He first forgave the man his sins. The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man or woman from their burden of guilt. Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give. Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God's redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well. The Lord Jesus sets us free from slavery to sin and makes us whole The Lord Jesus is ever ready to bring us healing of body, mind, and soul. His grace brings us freedom from the power of sin and from bondage to harmful desires and addictions. Do you allow anything to keep you from Jesus' healing power? "Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, soul, and mind. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life - my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offenses and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your truth and righteousness." The following reflection is from One Bread, One Body courtesy of Presentation Ministries © 2020. seventy times seven “Who is this Man Who utters blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” —Luke 5:21 Jesus always has forgiveness on His mind. The roof literally falls in, but Jesus responds: “My friend, your sins are forgiven you” (Lk 5:20). A man lay before Him paralyzed and Jesus says: “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” (Lk 5:24). The apostles ask Jesus to teach them to pray, and Jesus replies: “Forgive us the wrong we have done as we forgive those who wrong us” (Mt 6:12). Even while hanging on the cross, among His last words Jesus kept saying: “Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing” (Lk 23:34). “You can depend on this as worthy of full acceptance: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” (1 Tm 1:15). “I tell you, there will likewise be more joy in heaven over one repentant sinner than over ninety-nine righteous people who have no need to repent” (Lk 15:7). Jesus “is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world” (Jn 1:29). He is preoccupied with the forgiveness of sin. If we ask Jesus about our Christmas presents, He’ll offer to forgive our sins. If we complain about our troubles, He’ll call us to Confession. If we blame our spouse for something, Jesus will talk to us about the plank in our own eye (Mt 7:3). When Jesus thinks of Christmas, He thinks of the forgiveness of sins through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Go to Confession. Give Jesus the Christmas present of your repentance. Prayer: Jesus, baptize me in repentance. Send the Spirit to search my heart. May I repent on the deepest level. Promise: “They will meet with joy and gladness, sorrow and mourning will flee.” —Is 35:10 Praise: As a young adult, St. Ambrose was a fair and just politician in Milan, Italy. He endeared himself to the citizens. In fact, those same citizens “forcibly” acclaimed Ambrose their new bishop! He was ordained on December 7 and died on Holy Saturday. Reference: Rescript: "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020" The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements