By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: July 2, 2015
July 2, 2015

Gospel MT 9:1-8

After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.

Reflection:

I can identify with the man in today’s story.

Thirty years ago, in the final days of my drinking, I too was paralyzed.

In 1985, I was paralyzed by fear and the uncertainty of whether I could function without being supported by the “crutch” of alcohol.

Through the grace of God, manifesting itself in the form of the people of Alcoholics Anonymous, I learned that the antidote to fear is faith.

Putting my faith in Jesus Christ, I let go of the crutch of booze and gingerly stepped out on my own.

In the beginning, the successes were small but meaningful: a bill paid, a long damaged relationship healed.

Learning to live life anew included stumbling and falling, but with each fall there was a rising. And, with each rising, there was renewed confidence and strength.

I now know that all pain has value.

It is through the experience of my pain that my compassion for those who suffer is nurtured.

Eventually, I realized there was purpose and responsibility that comes with healing.

To be healed by Christ is our call to make ourselves available to Christ, and for him to use us to heal others.

“For everyone to whom much is given, of him shall much be expected.” Luke 12:48



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