Daily Reflection for Friday, August 26, 2022
Peace and Blessings, Friends and Parishioners,
We encourage you to reflect on Friday’s readings at this link:
If you prefer to use your own Bible, the readings are:
First Reading: 1 Corinthians 1:17-25
Responsorial: Psalms 33:1-2, 4-5, 10-11
Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13
Our reflection on Friday’s readings:
In 1990, my wife and I found ourselves expecting our second child just nine months after our first child was born, and the close spacing of her pregnancies shook her up a bit. My wife’s full name is Rebecca and, looking for something that would give her comfort, she randomly opened the Bible and put her finger on a verse. It was Genesis, Chapter 25: 24, which read “There were twins in Rebecca’s womb”. She was looking for a sign, and she got a sign…that God has a great sense of humor.
I know I’ve had many signs in my life that I can’t explain by anything other than God, and those experiences are very comforting to me. People have always been looking for signs that the invisible God is really there. But although signs pointing us to God are great to have, today’s first reading tells us that signs shouldn’t be our focus.
In the book of Luke, a paralyzed man’s friends sneakily lowered him through a roof while Jesus was speaking, hoping for a miracle (Luke 5:17). Jesus, seeing how great the faith of his friends was, performed the greatest miracle anyone could hope for, saying: “Your sins are forgiven.” But nothing looked different. Nothing sounded different. Nothing seemed different.
The people needed a sign.
So, Jesus gave them a sign, saying to the paraplegic: “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” That got their attention! I’ll bet everyone went home and told their friends about the paralytic being able to walk and carry his bed…probably not really grasping the greater miracle that Jesus had forgiven his sins.
The many signs and wonders recorded in the New Testament helped people to see the reality of the invisible God. But after the apostolic age, it seems the signs God used most often were the radical love and counter-cultural lives of the early Christians. And through their witnesses, the early church grew. Today, people are still looking for signs to give them direction for their lives. May God give us the grace to be those signs. To live lives pointing people to a reality beyond what the five senses can detect…the reality of a loving and forgiving God.
Grace and Peace to you,