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Green Leaf

July 4

FOCUS: Trust the Lord’s word and never doubt his mercy.

Plant

Reflection

00:00 / 02:07

Amos 7:10-17
Psalm 19
Matthew 9:1-8

There is a lot to today’s gospel in which Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic and also gives the paralytic a physical healing. Take note of the words used in the second verse of the gospel: “When Jesus saw their faith, He said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, child, you sins are forgiven’…” Jesus refers to “their faith”, He did not say the paralytic’s faith. This underscores the opportunity for our faith to help others when we pray for them. As a Church we are individuals in need within a community that also is in need. Our prayers for each other matter.

Jesus then establishes His authority to forgive sin – and yes, the scribes were correct, only God can forgive sins. And there’s the thing – Jesus is God, so He can forgive sins. Jesus gave that authority to the Apostles when He appeared to them after His resurrection. That authority extends to our priests in the Catholic Church – take advantage of the healing! We are comprised of body, mind and spirit – each of which nourishes the other, they work simultaneously. When our sins are forgiven it nourishes our spirit initially, and leads to a better frame of mind and healthier lifestyle. We see that Jesus found it necessary to heal both body and spirit.

Finally, Jesus is recognized for His authority by those who witnessed the miracle. At the time, the scribes taught and acted on the authority of the Mosaic Law. Jesus, however, acted on His own authority. Something the scribes considered unthinkable.

On this Independence Day, let’s celebrate our incredible country and pray that we will completely turn our wishes, dreams, and actions over to the authority of our loving God. There are significant forces at work to divide us – let’s not let that happen. Let’s let the Holy Spirit guide us!

It is a great day! Go smile at God today!

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