Daily Reflection
of Creighton University's Online Ministries
July 4th, 2013

Michael Kavan
School of Medicine
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Independence Day (in the US)
Isaiah 9:1-6, or Isaiah 32:15-18, 20, or Isaiah 57:15-19
Psalms 72:1-2, 3-4, 7-8, 12-13, 17, or Psalms 85:9-10, 11-12, 13-14
Philippians 4:6-9, or Colossians 3:12-15, or James 3:13-18
Matthew 5:1-12, or John 14:23-29, or John 20:19-23



Weekly Guide for Daily Prayer

Click HERE for the reflection for 13th Saturday in Ordinary Time celebrated today in other parts of the world

Today’s first reading is from Genesis and involves God testing the loyalty of Abraham. God asks Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac, and with strict obedience, Abraham travels to Moriah, builds an altar, and readies himself to sacrifice his only son for God. Thankfully, God’s love is delivered through a messenger who stops Abraham before any harm is done to him.  I have always struggled with this reading. How could a loving God ask Abraham to sacrifice his only son? As a father of four daughters who I love dearly, I ask myself whether I could do this if called upon. And, I tell you that I would fall short.

I try to make sense of this reading in the following manner. Although I know Abraham was strongly committed to God and would do anything for him, I have to think that Abraham knew as well that by placing his trust in God that God would make all things right. As he did – God not only saved Isaac, but blessed Abraham abundantly. Practically speaking, we face challenges daily and these may range from the simple to the more difficult. But whether God is asking us to be more patient, kind, tolerant, or to do the right thing in difficult circumstances, we need to put our trust in God’s love and act accordingly. God will guide us and he will make things right as long as we act in his love.

In the Gospel reading from Matthew, Jesus is brought a paralytic man lying on a stretcher. In those times, illness or sickness was believed to be the direct result of one’s sins and the only one who could forgive these is God. When Jesus forgave the paralytic man, the scribes saw this as blasphemy, but Jesus responds by saying that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins and in essence to heal us from our worst maladies.  And by saving us from our sins and illness, he not only saves us from death, but by forgiving our sins, Jesus gives us abundant life. So, how do we respond to Jesus’ teachings and actions? First, it is important that we do what we can to avoid sin in all we do. Then, we need to model after Jesus by forgiving others of their transgressions. Are we currently holding grudges against a friend, spouse, family member, co-worker, or someone else who has done us wrong? How freeing it would be to forgive that person as Jesus forgave the paralytic man. It’s ironic that by forgiving others, we seem to be the ones who are unburdened and allowed to, as Jesus said, “Rise and walk.”

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