2 July 2009. Thursday of the 13th Week in Ordinary Time
Gen 22, 1-19; Psalm 115; Matthew 9, 1-8
In the Gospel, the malicious thought of the scribes provides a setting to highlight Jesus’ power to heal both our physical illness such as a paralytic and our spiritual malady that needs the forgiveness of sins. The physical healing of the paralytic becomes the visible proof of spiritual recovery.
In today’s Gospel, Matthew notes the efforts of the friends of the paralytic while Mark spotlights the efforts of his friends. Nevertheless, Jesus took pity on the sick because He saw the faith of his friends. Friendship heals. Many of us sometimes doubt the effectivity of prayer for recovery. Our loved ones are scattered all over the country — or the world. When they get sick, we find ourselves helpless because we cannot be physically present to them. We can’t visit. We can’t send flowers. We can’t be with them. But the Gospel assures us that Jesus looks at our faith and he can heal those who are physically distant from us.
In addition, we often doubt whether the Lord would wish to restore to health a person who have ‘abandoned’ believing. What if the one who is sick declare that he does not believe in God, but he is a good friend of yours? What if the one in the hospital is a bad person, but a family member? Would God heal them too? I believe yes, He will. He sends the sun and the rain to the weeds and the wheat, to the righteous and to the sinners. But regardless of the person’s past, the Lord looks at our hearts and our sincerity. Love goes beyond weaknesses, limitations, status and negativities.