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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Is there anything in your life that enslaves you? Lift it up to God and ask Him for the grace to be free from it.- Daily Reflections March 8,2016


TAKE UP YOUR MAT
 
I have assisted my friend in bringing his son, who has suffered much from addiction, to a rehabilitation facility. Feeling our anxiety, the head of the facility tried to assure us of the efficacy of the rehabilitation by explaining to us the intervention that they will employ: “We shall make him the master of his actions and not the other way around as it is now.”
       Dictionary.com defines addiction as “the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming.” When one becomes a slave of something, that something defines his actions. It dictates how he will act, how he will dispose himself. It becomes his master. And he becomes the subservient slave.       
       Five times in today’s Gospel, the “taking up of one’s bed” was mentioned. It shows the importance that the evangelist John puts on what it signifies and how it may speak to the hearers of his proclamation. For a long time, it was the paralytic who was at the mercy of his bed — the one that carries him around, literally. Now, the hour of redemption has come. It will no longer be that way; he will be the one to carry his bed.
       When Jesus met the man again in the Temple, He tells the man, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” The relationship between sin and sickness has always been clear among Jews. Illnesses are consequences of one’s sinning. W. H. Auden says, “All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation.”
       This incident at Bethesda will speak to us invaluably as we face the reality of our own enslavement to sin. Jesus’ power and grace enables us to rise above our weaknesses that have been making us slaves to sin. He can heal us and restore us to our original state. Jesus can make us the masters of our own selves so that sin will not dictate to us how we are to dispose ourselves in thought and deed. Fr. Sandy V. Enhaynes
 
REFLECTION QUESTION: Is there anything in your life that enslaves you? Lift it up to God and ask Him for the grace to be free from it.
 
Dearest Lord, I ask for the grace to be free from my enslavement to ____ (name your habitual sin). Amen.

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