Thursday, July 4, 2019
Thursday of the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time
Saint Elizabeth of Portugal – Optional Memorial
(Celebrated July 5 in the USA)
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Matthew 9:2b
This story concludes with Jesus healing the paralytic and telling him to “rise, pick up your stretcher and go home.” The man does just that and the crowds are amazed.
There are two miracles that happen here. One is physical and one is spiritual. The spiritual one is that this man’s sins are forgiven. The physical one is the healing of his paralysis.
Which of these miracles are more important? Which one do you think the man desired the most?
It’s hard to answer the second question since we do not know the man’s thoughts, but the first question is easy. The spiritual healing, the forgiveness of his sins, is by far the most important of these two miracles. It’s the most significant because it has eternal consequences for his soul.
For most of us, it’s easy to pray to God for things like a physical healing or the like. We may find it quite easy to ask for favors and blessings from God. But how easy is it for us to ask for forgiveness? This may be harder to do for many because it requires an initial act of humility on our part. It requires that we first acknowledge we are sinners in need of forgiveness.
Acknowledging our need for forgiveness takes courage, but this courage is a great virtue and reveals a great strength of character on our part. Coming to Jesus to seek His mercy and forgiveness in our lives is the most important prayer we can pray and the foundation of all the rest of our prayers.
Reflect, today, upon how courageous you are in asking God for forgiveness and how humbly you are willing to acknowledge your sin. Making an act of humility like this is one of the most important things you can do.
Lord, give me courage. Give me courage, especially, to humble myself before You and to acknowledge all my sin. In this humble acknowledgment, help me to also seek Your daily forgiveness in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.