“The power of the Lord was with him for healing.”

Today’s gospel tells the story of a man seeking healing from Jesus (Lk 5:17-26).  While Jesus is teaching in a home Pharisees and other religious leaders and a great crowd listen to Him.  Desperate to reach Jesus, a paralyzed man on a stretcher and his friends make their way to the roof of the place, remove a number of tiles, and lower him through.  Jesus recognizing the faith of this man tells him that his sins are forgiven.  The scribes and Pharisees object to Jesus’ words saying only God can forgive sins.  Jesus proves His authority to do so by physically hearling the man as well.  Then all are astonished and praise God.  The words at top come from early in the passage.  The power of healing comes from the Lord.  We must believe this with our entire being in complete faith and trust.  Now we are well aware that many persons who pray for healing do not find it to come to pass in a physical way.  But an important lesson is taught to us by this miracle.  Jesus takes care of the most important healing first: the restoration of the soul to union with God.  Being full of faith as he was, the paralyzed man would likely have settled for this.  But his faith, contrasted with the religious leaders, effects a physical cure as well.  Now healed in body and soul, his most important duty is not to fall into sin again, regardless of whatever happens to his bodily health.  So it is to be with us.  We are always welcome to ask Jesus for relief from any physical, mental, emotional, or psychological distress.  But all requests should begin with a desire for spiritual healing: forgiveness of past sins and the strength to keep our resolve not to sin again; this should lead us to frequent sacramental confession.  Then, whatever the Lord thinks best for us in light of eternal considerations will be done for us.  So, whether or not the bodily healing occurs, we will be at peace in God.

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