In today’s gospel, Jesus tells His listeners, “The Sabbath was made for man not man for the Sabbath.” God does not need our worship. God does not become greater because we say so. Rather, we begin on our own path to greatness when we recognize the goodness of God.
Today, let us pray for the end of racial discrimination. “Father, You have given all peoples one common origin, and Your will is to gather them as one family in Yourself. Fill the hearts of all men with the fire of Your love and the desire to ensure justice for all their brothers and sisters. By sharing the good things You give us may we secure justice and equality for every human being, and end to all division, and a human society built on love and peace. Amen.”
Almost anything we see or experience can be a prayer, a path or tool for tuning into God. A whole spectrum of things can raise us to conscious union with God: passages from Scared Scripture, repetition of words, silence, even suffering. Prayer helps us grow in our relationship with God and helps us realize that we are stewards of God’s creation and the recipient of many blessings.
Ancient tax collectors paid for the right to collect taxes. They got their profit by collecting more than they paid for the right to collect the taxes. Some became extortionists. That is why tax collectors are despised in the Bible. Do we tend to discriminate against individuals just because they belong to a group we dislike?
In today’s Gospel, a paralytic is saved by the faith of his 4 friends who attract Jesus’ attention. Can you recall a time when another person’s faith played a big role in your life?
St. Anthony died as a hermit in Egypt at the age of 105. St. Athanasius, the champion against the Arian Heresy, wrote his life shortly after his death. St. Anthony helped St. Athanasius combat the Arian heresy as he left his cave to do so. He exemplified in his long life the constant struggle against the devil and evil. The story of his life greatly influenced people like St. Augustine of Hippo.
Peter’s mother-in-law was healed by Jesus. The Gospel says, “The fever left her and she began to wait on them.” When was the last time you experienced God’s healing power in your life?