One day when Jesus was in His own town, a paralytic was brought to Him for healing, but instead of healing the man, Jesus forgave his sins. The people who were watching became angry and accused Jesus of blasphemy, rather than being glad the man’s sins were forgiven. The people were hyper-focused on physical health, but had forgot, that our body AND our soul need God. They were unable to see the grace and love of God, but God knew what they needed, so He also healed the man’s body from paralysis.
The Church often uses the word stewardship to explain our financial support of the Church, but it is about so much more than just money. The word stewardship comes from the Greek word οικοδεπόστης which more fully means the master of the house. It is interesting that this is not referring to actual master, since that would be the owner, but the one who has been put in charge of the house. Using this understanding, Christ is the owner of the Church, but we have been put in charge as “masters” of His House. What are the duties of the master?
One day our Lord was traveling to His own city and a paralytic was brought to Him. Instead of healing the man from his illness, Christ dared to say, “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9.2) In return for this great gift the crowd accused Christ of blasphemy. Can you imagine a group of people worrying more about physical health than the forgiveness of sin? Fortunately for the crowd, Christ loved them enough to provide what they needed to believe in Him.
The Feast of All Saints reminds us that we are all called to be saints and a life of holiness. We are called to love God more than anything else in the world, more than our family or friends or any single thing on earth. As fallen human beings we spend each day tempted to focus on ourselves rather than focus on God. Holiness isn’t easy, but Christ blesses our willingness to take up the cross of Christian life, which is embodied in the life of the Church.
The Feast of Pentecost celebrates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Disciples and the Church, the day on which the Church was guided into all Truth. Christ said, “I am the Truth!” (John 14.6) and the Church has been given the great gift to live a life in unity with the Truth, Who is Christ. It was the Holy Spirit who open the eyes of the Holy Apostles into the fullness of the Truth, as promised by Christ before He ascended the Holy Cross. It is time we lived as if we believed the Truth of Christ, and live as if we are actually in unity with God.
In the story of the Healing of the Paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda, we encounter a man who had lost hope in being healed after 38 years of waiting. Meeting him at the pool, Christ asked Him if he wanted to be healed. “I have no man….” showing just how much he had lost hope. What the man didn’t know, but we know, is that Christ was the man he was waiting for to be healed. Christ has restored our hope, and we are called to be “the hope” for others as the Body of Christ.
The Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women teaches of the great faith of women in our lives. It was the faith of the women that brought the first Good News of the Resurrection to the Disciples. It was the faith of the women that helped build every Church. It is great faith in the power of the Resurrection of Christ that leads us to being in Communion with God. It is great faith in the power of God to protect us and provide what we need to believe in Him.
During Holy Week we heard Pontius Pilate, when he had given Christ over to be crucified, say to the people, “Behold the Man,” (John 19.5) and they took and He was crucified, ultimately saving us from death. In this simple phrase, unknowingly Pilate offered each of us a solution and an example. Christ is THE Man, the perfect human example for us to live our life in sacrifice for each the salvation of others, and in total harmony with the will of God.
Unlike the kings and queens of today, our King doesn’t just sit on a distant throne. He leads us into battle against the devil from within our hearts. Our King doesn’t enter in glory surrounded by military guards but enters into our hearts with humility. Our King never leaves our side but invites us to join Him physically forever united to Him. Our King has redefined what it means to be King and the True King of Peace. Today, Palm Sunday, we celebrate our King Who ushers in the final battle for our souls, and to free us from oppression.
Here we are, the final day of Great Lent 2021! It is my prayer that the Daily Lenten Journey has been a blessing for you, but you’re not finished with your journey. Today is only the beginning; it is not an end. Over the next week, the Church will embark on a different type of journey, one of even more intense prayer, fasting and worship. Holy Week will begin Sunday evening following two feasts. I hope you’re ready.