“‘Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.’ He rose and went home.” (MT 9: 6-7)
So simple, so easy, so effective and doable only by God’s love. Our Lord comes to us with His love, not as a mighty, respected and distant God, but as a friendly, compassionate and merciful Son of God. Whatever He did was oriented to “entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”
“God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’ They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Simon Peter said in reply, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” (MT 16: 13-16)
The most important mission of St. Peter was to recognize the true identity of Jesus Christ and to teach the whole Church about Him. Our Lord expected from Peter only love, and this was the main question He asked him after the resurrection—do you love Me more? Only love brings true answers.
“You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Suddenly a violent storm came up on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by waves; but he was asleep. They came and woke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us! We are perishing!’” (MT 8: 24-25)
Our Lord is always with us and for us. Sometimes He only needs to hear from us what we need from Him. It doesn’t matter what it is: the blind need to see, a dead son needs to go back to his mom, the deaf would like to hear. “They came and woke him, saying, Lord, save us! We are perishing!” Our first fought should always go to Him—Lord, save us! Jesus, we trust in You!
“I trust in the LORD; my soul trusts in his word.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to rest his head.” (MT 8: 20)
Our hearts are places where Our Lord can rest. All He needs is our willing, open heart and our love. We can walk with Him in our hearts; we can pray with Him; we can take Him to our friends and our homes, to our work and on shopping trips. We are His home.
“If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“I say, then: live by the Spirit and you will certainly not gratify the desire of the flesh. For the flesh has desires against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you may not do what you want. But if you are guided by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (GAL 5: 16-18)
Many times we need to make decisions, some more important than others. Choosing a bread for dinner or a different school for our son are not decisions of equal importance. When we are “guided by the Spirit,” we have a better chance of making a wise decision—we will protect our dignity and our relationships. When guided by “the flesh,” we will choose only what appears good for us.
“Speak, Lord, your servant is listening; you have the words of everlasting life.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed. For I too am a man subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” (MT 8: 8-9)
The centurion expresses amazing faith in the power of Jesus’ mere word. He is the Word, and He uses His power to heal, to unite, to strengthen and to protect us and our relationships. One request from one believer results in such an amazing miracle, worthy to proclaim at every Mass for ages.
“Christ took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“The LORD called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name.” (IS 49: 1)
Recognized and loved before anybody had any idea about my existence, “from my mother’s womb,” “he gave me my name” and designated me to a mission—to love. Different areas and different vocations but the same call—to love.
“You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven.” (MT 7: 21)
Our Lord came not only to do His Father’s will, but also to teach us about it. We pray for this everyday in the “Our Father” prayer: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” As loving Him is to keep His words, so true devotion is to do His will.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Standing by the column, the king made a covenant before the LORD that they would follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees with their whole hearts and souls, thus reviving the terms of the covenant which were written in this book.” (2 KGS 23: 3)
If we plan to “follow him and observe his ordinances, statutes and decrees,” there is only one rule—to do it “with our whole hearts and souls.” Not only do we do good works, but we also do them well. Only a total gift of self makes us happy.
“Remain in me, as I remain in you, says the Lord; whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.” (Gospel Acclamation)
“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (MT 7: 13-14)
We have two possible directions—to life or to destruction, and the difference starts with the gate: narrow or wide. This helps. When we see an easy entrance, “and those who enter through it are many,” we should stop and look for a new direction—“the road that leads to life.”
“I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.” (Gospel Acclamation)