A brief post on this chilly Monday... I am leaving work in a bit to help the Little Sisters of the Poor put up Christmas lights before RCIA with Kelsey tonight, and then celebrating St. Nick's Day with the family! I am still tired from the weekend (wedding, house guests, lots of writing), but it has been a good, challenging and busy day. It is definitely time to start wearing heavier layers; yay for cozy Sperry rain boots and navy blue ruffled cardigans!
I really liked the reading and reflection today:
from the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:17-26
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."
and from Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450), Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
"What are you thinking in your hearts?"
Thanks to the faith of others the cripple's soul would be cured before his body. "Seeing their faith," the gospel says. Note here, my brethren, that God is not interested in what foolish people want and doesn't expect to find faith among the ignorant..., among those who conduct themselves badly. On the other hand he doesn't refuse to come to the help of others' faith. Such faith is a gift of grace, at one with God's will... In his divine goodness Christ the physician strives to draw to salvation, even in spite of themselves, those affected by sickness of soul, those whom the burden of their sins and offenses overwhelms even to delirium. Yet they don't want to submit.
O my brethren, if only we wanted to, if only we all wanted to perceive our soul's paralysis in all its depth! Then we would see that it is lying on a stretcher of sins, deprived of strength. Christ's action within us would be a source of light and we would understand that each day he sees our lack of faith, harmful as it is, that he draws us towards healing remedies and sharply presses our rebellious wills. "My son" he says, "your sins are forgiven you." (from Sermon 50)
Also, the Aggie Catholic blog has a fabulous piece on St. Nicholas and his intolerance of heretics. Definitely worth a read.