Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
December 6, A.D. 2004
A brief reflection on today's Scripture passages:
That you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins, he said to the paralyzed man, 'Get up, take up your mat, and go home.'
He stood up at once, and picked up his mat, and went home glorifying God. Astonishment seized them all. Struck with awe, they gave praise to God, saying, 'We have seen incredible things today.' (Luke 5:24-26)
We tend to pray most fervently when we are in need. In times of crisis we turn to God and ask him to come to our aid. And though it may be true that we pray at other times as well, it is usually with not nearly the same sense of urgency. In times of trouble we look to God to rescue us. We seek divine intervention, some extraordinary show of power, even a miracle.
It seems that God rarely answers such prayers. We know that everything is in God's power, but He rarely uses it when we ask Him for it--or so it seems. But God actually does answer prayers. His power is always at work in our lives. We do not see it because we look for it at the wrong times and in the wrong places.
To look for God's power in time of need is to seek Him at a time when we are thinking mostly about ourselves. And that is the one time when we are least likely to find Him. To make contact with God we must turn our attention away from ourselves and everything else and focus on Him.
We also miss the point when we look for God to act on our behalf in extraordinary ways. God rarely needs to intervene in our lives by extraordinary means because He is constantly at work in the ordinary. Everything that happens is moved by the hand of God...For those who have eyes to see, the entire universe is a vast unending wonder of God's creative power. When we look inward with the eyes of faith, we see that what God has done in creating us is every bit a miracle.
And when we reflect on how much God loves us and how little we love in return, how abundant His gifts and how little our gratitude, how rich His grace and how poor our response, we begin to see the greatest miracle of all. We see that long before we realize how much we need God's forgiveness, He forgives everything. Though we do not deserve it, God simply forgives. No miracle is greater than this. When we finally come to this realization, we can truly say, 'We have seen incredible things today!'
Lord God, you do not treat us as our sins deserve. Because of your love for us, you sent your Son, Jesus Christ, to free us from sin and lead us to eternal life. Heal us of all spiritual infirmity and give us a pure heart, that we may love you in this life and be united with you in heaven's eternal joy.
- John Gedbaw
Lives of the saints:
Monday of Second Week of Advent
St. Nicholas, bishop
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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