In today’s Gospel, Jesus forgives sins and then when He is challenged by the scribes and Pharisees, performs the lesser of the miracles and grants the paralyzed man his ability to walk and move. Of course it bothers us that Jesus is challenged by these narrow-minded ideologues who are threatened by the “authority” they believe they deserve and not this “man from Nazareth”. But what our Gospel calls us all to consider today is not how ideologues can get in the way of the Lord’s work, but to ask ourselves the following questions:
- Can we be narrow-minded when it comes to the Lord’s saving work in our lives and the lives of others?
- Can we place limits on what God can do?
- Can we miss the “big picture” of what God is trying to accomplish because of what we think should be accomplished?
- Why should we (and do we) have faith in God and trust Him?
There are many more questions today’s Gospel could call upon us to reflect upon but I think about my own faith journey and how I spent so much of my own life with great limits that I placed upon the Lord. When I accepted Jesus Christ, my heart became more and more open to so many important things:
- I learned how to truly love and be merciful and compassionate to others
- I learned how to begin channel my own passions in life (which were manifested mostly in anger to that point)
- I learned what it means to be truly human, truly alive, to truly live
- I learned what it means to live for something much greater than myself.
I’ve learned some of these things, but must admit that I am a work in progress this way and I need to continue to grow and learn through my faults and failings too. Jesus has performed the greatest of all miracles for me – and now as I live my own vocation as one of His Priests, through me as well:
Jesus has forgiven me of my sins, He continues to forgive me of my sins and has extended to me Infinite Love and Infinite Mercy – and has asked me to do the same as a follower. In and through my vocation, He has also called me to extend this very miracle of forgiving sins. And if that’s not enough (and it truly is) He has also given me (us) our life back.