Homily for Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Readings for Today

I would have been laughing out loud.  “He leaped up, stood, and walked around, and went into the temple with them, walking and jumping and praising God.”  How could I keep a straight face in the midst of such tremendous celebration?  Can you imagine the scene?  Jumping!  Why wouldn’t he?  Why would “a man crippled from birth” not want to jump?  He had been carried (presumably not just to the Beautiful Gate) his whole life.  And now he can jump!

The story reminds me of one of the most poignant moments in my life as a priest.  I had been visiting a man in the hospital who had a very serious stroke.  For months he had been bedridden, but with rehabilitation he was able to do more and more.  I visited him almost every day, and marveled at the tremendous progress he continued to make each day.  But there was one day in particular I will never forget.  As I was coming around the corner of a hallway, I saw him and the physical therapist standing near a railing that was connected to the wall.  He was taking his first steps since the stroke.  Tears were streaming down his face as he was not sure he would ever walk again.  This experience for me was a tremendously powerful example of resurrection.

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