Readings 20150116

The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net

Do you know the healing power of forgiveness? Jesus’ treatment of sinners upset the religious teachers of the day. When a cripple was brought to Jesus because of the faith of his friends, Jesus did the unthinkable. He first forgave the man his sins. The scribes regarded this as blasphemy because they understood that only God had authority to forgive sins and to unbind a man or woman from their burden of guilt.

Jesus claimed an authority which only God could rightfully give. Jesus not only proved that his authority came from God, he showed the great power of God’s redeeming love and mercy by healing the cripple of his physical ailment. This man had been crippled not only physically, but spiritually as well. Jesus freed him from his burden of guilt and restored his body as well. The Lord is every ready to bring us healing of body, soul, and mind. Is there any area in your life that cripples you from walking in the freedom of Christ’s transforming love and forgiveness?
Bishop Ambrose of Milan (339-397 AD), an early church father explains how the healing of the paralytic points not only to Christ’s power to heal the whole person, but also to raise the body to everlasting life as well:

But the Lord, wanting to save sinners, shows himself to be God both by his knowledge of secrets and by the wonder of his actions. He adds, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you’’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?'” In this passage he shows the full likeness of the resurrection. Alongside of healing the wounds of body and mind, he also forgives the sins of the spirits, removes the weakness of the flesh, and thus heals the whole person. It is a great thing to forgive people’s sins – who can forgive sins, but God alone? For God also forgives through those to whom he has given the power of forgiveness. Yet it is far more divine to give resurrection to bodies, since the Lord himself is the resurrection. (excerpt from EXPOSITION OF THE GOSPEL OF LUKE 5.12–13.5)
Do you believe in the healing transforming power of Christ’s forgiveness and merciful love? Ask him to set you free and transform your mind and heart to be like his heart.
“Lord Jesus, through your merciful love and forgiveness you bring healing and restoration to body, soul, and mind. May your healing power and love touch every area of my life – my innermost thoughts, feelings, attitudes, and memories. Pardon my offenses and transform me in the power of your Holy Spirit that I may walk confidently in your love, truth, and righteousness.”

The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
MAKE LIKE A HELICOPTER

“They began to gather in great numbers. There was no longer any room for them, even around the door.” —Mark 2:2
In the Gospels, especially in Mark’s Gospel, we read about Jesus being surrounded by such large crowds that it was almost impossible to approach Him. Consequently, some people thought up various ways to get through, around, or over the crowds. They stepped on one another (Lk 12:1), pushed each other (Mk 3:10), climbed a tree (Lk 19:4), and even made a hole in the roof of the house where Jesus was staying (Mk 2:4).

There can often be major obstacles between us and Jesus. The media, our jobs, our lifestyles, and the whole culture of death can crowd us out of a deep and intimate relationship with Jesus. We need:

stretcher bearers, that is, intercessors, to carry us around and over the crowd to Jesus (see Mk 2:3ff),
to look foolish and take risks so as to get to Jesus (see Mk 2:4),
our sins forgiven (Mk 2:5), and
to make a stand for Jesus (Mk 2:11).
By faith, make like a helicopter. Get over the crowd. Get to Jesus no matter what it takes.

Prayer: Father, make me want to be close to Jesus more than I want to live. Promise: “Let us strive to enter into that rest.” —Heb 4:11 Praise: Strong temptations have prompted Lawrence to turn to God more often, and victory over them has strengthened his will and his faith. (For a related teaching, order our tapes on Risen Life, a four-tape audio series starting with AV 4A-1 or two-tape video series starting with V-4A, or our leaflet by the same title.)
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2014 through January 31, 2015.
†Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 30, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements

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