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Renew the Fervor of Your Faith!!
Gospel Reflection for December 5, 2022
“One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’ Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, ‘Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?’ Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, ‘What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the man who was paralyzed, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.’ He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, ‘We have seen incredible things today.’” (Luke 5:17-26 NABRE)
As I read this Gospel for today, I can’t help but think what a “mic drop” moment that must have been! Imagine what it must have felt like to be one of Jesus’ disciples, who had been chosen and called by the Lord to follow Him, as He spoke those profound words. What emotions this must have stirred up! Imagine the awe, the wonder, and the excitement they felt while witnessing their Teacher proclaim His Divine authority to forgive sins, and then prove it.
Sometimes when we read or hear about these same stories over and over again, we tend to forget how truly miraculous they are. I mean, the disciples got to witness their Divine Teacher read the Pharisee’s thoughts! How cool is that.
Each and every time the disciples and crowds witnessed Jesus’s miracles, and watched as He brought healing and restoration to those in seemingly desperate situations, they must have experienced an immense desire for renewal. Renewal of faith and devotion to their Master. A renewal of hope and longing for eternity with Him. A renewal of fervor.
“Struck with awe, they said, ‘We have seen incredible things today.’” (Luke 5:26)
Though we did not witness Jesus perform His ministry during His time on earth, we can still read the stories of the Gospel as though we are witnessing the events for the first time ourselves. It will help us to experience that same renewal in faith, devotion, and fervor, especially as we prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord this Advent season.
Let this renewal prompt you to repent, remove sin from your life, and to go to the Lord in faith, placing before Him your struggles, worries, fears, and burdens. No matter what you’re battling, no matter what is holding you down, like the paralytic, faithfully go to Jesus. Only then will He be able to say to YOU, “rise.”