January 13, 2017 – Friday in the 1st Week of the Church Year

Saint for the day: Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315 – c. 368)

Scripture Readings for today’s Liturgy:

Hebrews 4:1-5, 11    –    Psalm 78    –    Mark 2:1-12

Today the Church remembers a 4th century saint, Hilary of Poiters. Be sure to follow the “link” to his interesting story as a bishop in the changing times of his era. What a difference when we get to today’s Gospel with the story of the paralyzed man being lowered through the roof to be healed by Jesus. Take a moment – if you haven’t already done so – to click on the link to the story of St. Hilary’s life. He and the paralyzed man in today’s Holy Gospel are miles apart from each other in terms of background and status but there might still be something for us to learn from both of these characters.

What is that familiar saying? “No man – or woman – is an island unto themselves” Rich or poor, we all depend on others in some way or other. In God’s eyes, monetary status is not what brings us into the healing – or growing – presence of God/Jesus. In fact, we know that Jesus, himself, will say “how hard it will be for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God”

 My Western Dominican Province has a legendary character, Blessed Jedidiah of Cle Elum (a lumbering town in Washington state) who sought entrance into the Dominicans way back in the 1800’s. He arrived at the novitiate with just the clothes on his back and a small bindle stiff on his shoulders. But he was a few days early and they told him that he wouldn’t be able to stay just yet. With that he stated his now famous personal mantra, “I ain’t never asked nothing from nobody,” and went off to camp in the marshes of Benicia until the day he could enter as a novice.

The fact that he’s a “blessed” is based on his dramatic conversion wherein he discovered that if he clung to his “motto” he would never achieve true holiness. The reality In all our lives is that we are all dependent on others whether we are rich or poor. It will be those around us – the friends of the paralyzed man – who will help us get to Jesus where we can experience his healing presence. Bl. Jedidiah had to come to the understanding that he needed others to lower (or lift) him into Jesus’ presence. All of us need a few friends who will lead us to Jesus. None of us can make it totally on our own. “Therefore, let us strive to enter into His rest.” Amen!

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