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How God works

by Dec 7, 2020Friar Reflection

Sometimes we “religious people,” like the scribes and the Pharisees in today’s Gospel, are quick to judge and to condemn. We think we have God all figured out and we know exactly where and how God works.

The scribes and the Pharisees accuse Jesus of blasphemy because He tells the paralytic that His sins are forgiven. These Jewish leaders “know” that forgiveness can only occur in the Temple in Jerusalem and they “know” that “God alone can forgive sins.” So, they are closed to a new experience of God’s forgiveness through Jesus’ healing words and actions. Jesus tries to open their minds through a seemly simple question: “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?”

Sometimes you and I can be like these scribes and Pharisees in today’s Gospel. We foolishly think we can tell God where and how He can work. We hear this foolish attitude in such phrases as, “Outside the church there is no salvation,” or “Unless you are ‘born again’ you cannot be saved.” Do we really think we can tell God that He can’t save someone because they do not belong to the Catholic Church and because they have not been “born again”?

God accepts all those who seek Him with a sincere heart and whose faith God alone might know as we hear in this Eucharistic Prayer from Mass: “Therefore, Lord, remember now all for whom we offer this sacrifice…those who take part in this offering, those gathered here before You, Your entire people, and all who seek You with a sincere heart. Remember also those who have died in the peace of your Christ and all the dead, whose faith You alone have known.” (Eucharistic Prayer IV).