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Friday, January 13, 2006

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St. Hilary

1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22
Psalm 89:16-19
Mark 2:1-12

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will the real paralytics please sit down?

"When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralyzed man, 'My son, your sins are forgiven.' Now some of the scribes were sitting there." —Mark 2:5-6

Usually today's Gospel reading is entitled "The Paralyzed Man." It should be entitled "The Paralyzed Men." The man on the stretcher wasn't the only paralyzed person in the room. The scribes were spiritually paralyzed, a much more serious condition than physical paralysis. Because of it, the scribes wouldn't believe in Jesus. They even refused to rejoice in the paralytic's healing. Furthermore, the scribes were so paralyzed they could not recognize their paralysis.

In contrast, those who carried the paralytic on a stretcher, broke up the roof, and lowered him down were certainly not paralyzed but truly free (Mk 2:4). They didn't let themselves be paralyzed by fear of failure, rejection, or ridicule. They acted in faith (Mk 2:5), even if they might be embarrassed.

Are you a paralyzed scribe or a free stretcher-bearer? Are you worried about what other people think? Can you share your faith in Jesus openly? Are you free to praise the Lord? Are you afraid to talk to anyone? Is there anyone you're unable to forgive? Jesus is saying to each of us, "Your sins are forgiven." "Stand up! Pick up your mat and go home" (Mk 2:5, 11). Let Jesus heal your spiritual paralysis.

Prayer:  In the name of Jesus, I renounce all paralyzing, demonic activity in my life. Thank You, Jesus, for Your victory.

Promise:  "Happy the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of Your countenance, O Lord, they walk." —Ps 89:16

Praise:  St. Hilary wrote, "Yours it is, Lord, to grant our petitions, to be present when we seek You and to open when we knock."

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape Spiritual Anorexia on AV 101-1 or video V-101.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 19, 2005

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