One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus.
When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? But so 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, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.”
Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
The last line in today’s Gospel reminds me of the Jesuit mantra: “Finding God in all things.” It’s an easy phrase to use but in reality it is difficult to put into practice. In his book Learning to Fall: The Blessings of an Imperfect Life, Phillip Simmons explains how he was able to find God in all things. Simmons describes a mysticism of everyday life: in the heaped laundry and the bruised toe, in overcooked broccoli, in snow and ice covered trees, in sunrise and sorrow, in laughter and linguine, music and mold. I suppose he was saying, “Find God in all things” all the time. But this takes practice, because I imagine it would be very difficult for most of us to find anything Godlike or incredible in overcooked broccoli!
Are we able to see the incredible things of God throughout our day?
—Fr. Tom Neitzke, S.J. is the President of Creighton Prep, Omaha, NE.
O God, I find myself at the beginning of another day.
I do not know what it will bring.
Please help me to be ready for whatever it may be.
If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely.
If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly.
If I am to lie low, help me to do it patiently.
If I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly.
I pray just for today, for these twenty-four hours,
for the ability to cooperate with others according to the way Jesus taught us to live.
“Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
May these words that he taught us become more than words.
—Fr. John Veltri, S.J.