Thursday of 13th Week of Ordinary Time Cycle C

Are You In or Out?

A monk once lectures his students to help them understand that people when they commit a crime, they often have a narrow mind of the cause and effect or the punishment for the crime that they commit. He shares a story of a two prisoners who shared their conversation of what happens next.

The first one asked, “How long would you be locked here, John?”

“Two weeks,” he replied.

“How would they treat you while you are in here? Rough?” the first one asked.

“No,” John replied. “They are very nice to me in fact.”

“What did you do to be locked here?” the other prisoner asked.

“I killed at least six people,” he replied.

“You killed six people, and you are locked up in here for only two weeks?”

“Yes.” John replied, “After two weeks, they will put me to rest.”

The story, Matthew reported in today’s Gospel, retells a paralytic man was forgiven his sins before the Lord Jesus healed his physical paralyzation. Similarity to the prisoner, John, was locked in the prison cell for his crime, the paralytic was paralyzed lying on a stretcher for his disease. In addition, the prisoner John committed a crime of murder that he’s locked in the prison cell, while the paralytic convicted a disease that locked him paralyzed on a stretcher.

However, the differences between the prisoner John and the paralytic are the prisoner had no one to help him defending for him in the prison cell, while the paralytic had people helped him and brought him to Jesus. Also, the Judge of John gave him a sentence for his crime, the Lord Jesus didn’t even give a sentence for the paralytic but forgave him and restored his health to normal. Unlike the sentence that the Judge gave to the prisoner was to take away his life, the Lord Jesus did not only gave back his life, but also commanded him “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” Go home, the Lord Jesus wanted to emphasize do not sin any more. Only at home that we find safe and do not sin, perhaps, when we are in the Church, we are saved. Have you and I come to Church often so to be saved by the Lord Jesus? We are healed and restored to be children of God through our baptism, but have you and I “go home” or stay in the Church? Are you in or out of the Church?


Weekday Homilies 2019

Homilies by Fr. Joseph Thang Nguyen

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