Once a man invited family and friends to his home for a party. No liquor was served, but a hearty meal was eaten. Prayers were also said in thanksgiving. The party celebrated the man’s sobriety. Fifteen years to the day he had given up
Of course, drinking is not bad in itself. Nor can alcoholics be blamed for every drink they
take. As Alcoholics Anonymous teaches,
compulsive drinking is a disease that diminishes moral responsibility. But at some point alcoholics must account for
their actions while intoxicated. When they
repeatedly do careless work and act abusively at home after drinking, they must
either stop or recognize their sin. Then
their abstaining from drink becomes the source of complete healing.
In the gospel Jesus forgives the sin of the paralytic as the first step toward
total healing. As Jesus suggests, his saving
of the man’s soul is a greater claim to his being the Messiah than his healing of
the man’s lameness. But to fulfill Isaiah’s prophecy of the Messiah in the
first reading, Jesus makes the lame man “leap like a stag.”
Jesus comes to save all of us from our
sins. He brings forgiveness when we
repent our wrongdoing. As we turn away
from our vices – whether obvious ones like drinking too much or more subtle
ones like looking at others as objects of desire – Jesus will provide us the
grace to live gracious and loving lives.
Bilingual Roman Catholic priest of the Southern Dominican Province. The "homilettes" on this website are completely the work of Fr. Mele. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telephone: (415) 279-9234.