Daily Reflection
December 10th, 2001
Kathy Kanavy
Institute for Priestly Formation
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Luke 5:17-26

“We have seen incredible things today!”

Our Gospel reading for today ends with this wonderful exclamation made in response to Jesus’ healing of the paralytic.  If you remember, his friends were carrying him on a mat to bring him to Jesus so that he could be cured, but they couldn’t get near Jesus.  So they went up on the roof, removed some tiles and lowered him into the middle of the crowd before Jesus.  The Gospel says, “Seeing their faith, Jesus said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’”  The man then picks up his mat and returns home praising God.

We all love “miracle” stories: stories of people who receive new life, new hope, new encouragement.  We also desire these miracles for ourselves, for those we love and for our world.  Our readings today invite us to “taste” the miracles here in our midst….today!
What does this mean?

The shock of this Gospel story lies not only in the physical healing that Jesus brought forth, but also in the profound statement that Jesus can forgive sins.  The breadth of the mystery of the Incarnation is enfolded here.  One of our Eucharistic Prayers says, “When we were lost and could not find the way, You loved us more than ever….”  The historical truth is that humanity was lost and we could not find the way because of sin.  St. Charles Borromeo speaks to God’s profound love:  “In his infinite love for us, though we were sinners, he sent his only Son to free us from the tyranny of Satan, to summon us to heaven, …to show us truth itself, to train us in right conduct, to plant within us the seeds of virtue, to enrich us with the treasures of his grace, and to make us children of God and heirs of eternal life.”  We can hardly grasp the depth of this love for us.  But so often we wonder if we really are loved.  We wonder if God really hears our prayers for ourselves, for those we love and for our broken world.  

What we can often miss is the presence of God in our midst each day.  In the middle of work, family, endless details and responsibilities, it is easy to miss that God really is with us--loving us.  I invite you and me to take some time today to notice how God is saving us today or how God has been active recently.  Look in ordinariness.  Perhaps you have seen God in receiving good news about something you hoped for, or in the healing of a sickness of your own or someone you love.  Perhaps some project you have been working on in your job has been successful, or perhaps you just had a good conversation with your son or daughter. Perhaps you have a sense of deep, down peace in your heart despite present difficulties.  Look deeply into your heart.  You and I know the areas of sinfulness and darkness within.  Pause for a moment to taste the truth that Jesus has come to set us free, if we willingly come to Him, ask forgiveness and accept the grace Christ earned for us.  What an astonishing love!

The truth of the “advent” or coming of our God into our midst is that He is here in our messiness every day, loving us and saving us.  He longs to come more fully into our hearts and our world.  Let us pray for the grace to see and to receive His saving love every day of our lives.  Then we can join with those in our Gospel reading and say, “We have seen incredible things today!”

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