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Daily Mass Reflections - 12/10

Updated on December 8, 2021

As for you, your sins are forgiven." ~ Luke 5:20

A message of divine hope awaits us in today’s 1st Reading (Isaiah 35:1-10), wherein the great Advent Prophet emboldens the natives of Jerusalem to “be strong, and fear not,” this despite the fact that they find themselves on the threshold of occupation by the relentless and ever-advancing Assyrian Army.

In poetic fashion, Isaiah employs vivid imagery as he foreshadows the day when “streams will burst forth in the desert, and rivers in the steppe. The burning sands will become pools, and the thirsty ground, springs of water; The abode where jackals lurk will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus. A highway will be there, called the holy way.” This Reading perfectly couples the virtues of hope and faith, the very same virtues we seek to personally reflect upon and bolster during the first two weeks of our Advent Journey.

Our Gospel Passage (Luke 5:17-26) tells the story of the faithful paralytic, a passage wherein Jesus, as he will do throughout Scripture, draws a parallel between physical healing and spiritual healing. It is spiritual healing that we crave, for spiritual healing is an eternal healing. Yes, Jesus did cure his friend Lazarus of the malady of physical death. Lazarus would however eventually go on to die again. The eternal spiritual healing that Jesus promises evokes the imagery of Isaiah in today’s 1st Reading, a tranquil existence rooted in peace of body, mind and soul.

Bishop Barron adroitly makes a connection between our protagonist in today’s Gospel to the present and prevailing evangelical situation in our world. There are many Catholics who are spiritually paralyzed, he points out. Unable to move, frozen in regard to Christ and the Church. This could be the result of a number of extenuating circumstances. Doubt, fear perhaps, ignorance maybe, anger (no doubt), simmering resentment....the list goes on.

Regardless, as believers we are called to bring others to Christ. How? A simple word of encouragement, a subtle challenge, a careful explanation, a word or act of forgiveness, a note, a phone call.

Oftentimes overlooked in today’s Gospel passage is the perseverance, resourcefulness, dogged determination and downright urgency of the paralytic’s friends as they brought him to Jesus. May we all take a cue from these amazing friends and strive to do the same fir those whom God has So lovingly and painstakingly placed in our lives.

Dear Lord, give us the desire, wisdom and fortitude to live the Gospel in a way that brings others to you. May our lives be genuine examples of true discipleship.” ~ Amen


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