One of the reasons the Church canonizes saints is to hold up their lives as examples of virtue and holiness. One of the reasons the Catholic Church does this throughout the world and in every century is to say that following Christ as his disciple is something that can be, and in fact, has been done in every time, place and circumstance.
Next weekend is our ministry fair. Everyone is encouraged to consider a call to service and ministry. Two points: Every one of us is gifted by our baptism and confirmation. Sealed and stamped with Christ- gifted to serve. Every one of us has something to give, something in your heart to share- no exceptions. By the very fact that you are here as a baptized member of the assembly of God. By that very fact we are called to give of ourselves, to share our hearts. Don't think that Father is trying to drum up support for people to help him. By virtue of our baptized priesthood; we are all called to service. And in this body of Christ every member, without exception, is vital and important.
Of those of you who are married, how many remember the sermon that was preached at your wedding? (I guess I might ask how many of you remember being married.)! Recently I was speaking with a gentleman, married many years, who said he remembered the minister's sermon at his wedding. In the midst of all that would be going on, leading up to, during and following that ceremony, the wedding sermon was still in his mind.
When you leave Walmart the check out clerk will often ask, “Did you find everything okay?”, I feel sure they are trained to ask that question. A question that made me shake in my boots was my sixth grade teacher asking, “Freddie, do you have homework to turn in today?” Another significant question I dread hearing is my doctor at my annual check up when he asks, “What is it with you and food?”
I love this gospel story especially for the way that it presents Jesus. Jesus treats this handicapped person with care. He takes the man away from the crowd protecting his privacy. The man’s healing is not meant to be a public spectacle. Jesus uses a “hands on” style, which someone has called “sacramental”, instead of just saying the word, Jesus is not afraid to touch, as he did with the leper, putting his finger into the man’s ear and touching his tongue with spittle. Jesus is not afraid to express emotions- “he sighed” and Jesus even uses a Greek word, ephaptha, for he is in Greek territory (Decapolis). The Messiah doing messianic things in a scene that is intimate and personal.