Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
This is a passage we may have learned in Vacation Bible School as a child. The miracle of the paralyzed man. We may have been taught that this man’s friends are the kind of friends we are to be, a friend that takes others to Jesus. What a great lesson for our children to learn! They have the ability to take others to Jesus and share Him and HIs love by how they act with others.
As adults, what lesson might we learn? Blessed John Paul II taught in his Theology of the Body a philosophy that he learned from Saint Edith Stein, also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. This philosophy is called Phenomenology.
Phenomenology basically has us look into the heart of another to determine what has brought them to this point in life. We might see a person covered in tattoos and piercings with a purple mohawk and come to a conclusion about this person that may or may not be correct. The Holy Father taught that we should do just as Jesus did in this passage, look inside and see what the foundation of the issue is. We are all made in His image and likeness and therefore have equal dignity as sons and daughters in Christ.
Christ, and everyone else, could see that this man was obviously physically paralyzed, but when He looked into the heart of the crippled man, He saw that he was also spiritually crippled because of sin. Maybe this is why Jesus chose to heal him from the inside out. This healing could bring him eternal happiness and not just earthly happiness as a walking man.
This philosophy is one that can be used with our own children. Is the reason they are throwing a fit in the middle of the store because, as other customers may think, the child is spoiled and needs to be disciplined? Or is it because he is hungry, tired, not feeling well, etc?
Are the bad grades my child is receiving in school because she just doesn’t know how to behave? Or is it because she is having an argument with her best friend that she could use some adult help handling? Or is she overwhelmed because this class is too difficult and she has not shared with you her frustration?
Does my child never tell me what is going on in his life? Is it because I never ask or appear to care?
Christ takes us to the heart of the matter with this man’s paralyses, showing us that we too should look deeper into the heart of another, rather than just what seems to be obvious on the surface.
When I see someone dressed or acting in a way that I do not approve, do I stop and wonder why they dress and act this way or do I just disapprove? When my child misbehaves, do I try to get to the core of the misbehavior rather than just attempting to change the behavior?
Lord, please give me a gentle, caring heart for others as you have. Help me to really see the person and not just the appearance. Amen.
Copyright 2014 Diane Schwind