Sunday of the Paralytic 2017 Homily

We have all sorts of maladies and sicknesses that afflict us: physically, mentally, and spiritually. These maladies can have all kinds of debilitating effects and can keep us from living our lives in peace and happiness. They can put us down, they can persuade us to persist in sin, they can give us mental or physical pain that pushes us to think that God has abandoned us and that there is no way out of our misery. The maladies that afflict us are here to tear us away from the source of our healing, they attack us to test the righteous, and to destroy those who are weak in faith. We each have some type of pain in our lives, some specific challenge that is ours alone—this pain is present, because it asks us several questions: what will we do to get rid of the pain? What remedy will we employ for relief—temporary relief, or permanent relief? Better yet, who will we go to for not just relief, but for total healing?
We can go to medical doctors to fix our flesh and bones, we can go to psychologists to help us navigate our difficulties, we can also commit sin and go to seers and readers to look to the dark spirit world as to what is going on in our lives. —Or, we can go come to our Father, we can return to the one who created us, the One who saved us. It is only through Jesus Christ that we will find true healing, true repair of our body and soul, it is only through Jesus Christ that we too can experience a resurrection from our brokenness, from our maladies, from our emotional pain, and from our state of sin- to be once again living in the peace of our Baptism, the peace of the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus seeks out those who have been in pain for a short time, or for many years like the paralytic who has been afflicted for 38 years. Jesus seeks us out to offer us healing, He knows His children, He knows the pain they endure, and He is knocking on our door to give us relief, to give us His peace, and to return us to a state of glory.
But in God’s wisdom, He gave us free will, since God loves us unconditionally, He cannot control us, for if we were controlled by God, if our actions were not our own choice but were the decisions of a puppet master, then we would not be free, we would be enchained, we would be slaves. Jesus asked the paralyzed man if he wanted to be healed, he did not assume it, but allowed the man to speak for himself, Jesus wanted to hear what the man had to say about his condition and malady. The man in reply did not complain, he did not lament his condition, he did not ask for pity —he simply said that he did not have anyone to help him to get into the pool to be healed. Jesus’ reply could be understood as this, “I will help you, I will heal you, get up and experience your wholeness, experience the restoration of your body.” By the man’s patience, by his meekness and faith, he got up and went into the temple to worship God.
Peter too has brought people back to wholeness, he healed a paralyzed man by the name of Jesus, he rose a dead women through his prayer to God. It is through Jesus, through Peter, and through the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that we are brought back to wholeness, that our maladies can be expunged, and that our pain can be relieved.
Jesus has mercy on those who desire to be healed, He has mercy on those who hear him knocking on their door, and if we open up the door, open up our lives to Him, tear down the walls of our defenses and invite Jesus to live in our hearts, then we too will be told not only that we are healed, but we will be invited to experience wholeness in our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord, and in His Holy Church.

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