“We have never seen anything like this.”

Today’s reading picks up where we left off last Sunday, starting a new chapter in Mark (2:1-12).  This is the story of the paralytic whose helpers break through the roof of Jesus’ home in order to have Him heal their friend.  Jesus does so, but only after forgiving the poor man’s sins, which sends the scribes into a tizzy wondering where Jesus gets the authority to do this.  The passage closes with the onlookers glorifying God with the words in the headline.  One can understand their astonishment and excitement.  It is very rare to personally encounter an immediate miraculous physical healing of this nature.  More profound, if less viscerally stimulating, is Jesus’ healing of the man’s soul.  We, too, are called to be healers of souls in our home, work, church, recreational (or wherever) environments.  In striving to be perfect (cf. Mt 5:48) we wish to be Jesus to others and see Jesus in others.  Hopefully we will embrace heroic virtue if necessary, but our consistent, everyday acts of kindness, generosity, understanding, and living out the Gospel in every way, in a culture that seems more and more antithetical to God and more focused on self, may well elicit words publicly and privately: “We have never seen anything like this.”

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