Some stuff about the last couple of Catechism classes:
We finished the Jan. 8 class by spending about 20 minutes on the Healing of the Paralytic: acting, drawing, discussion, Bible-reading, the usual. This week among other things, we covered Jesus healing a man’s withered arm on the Sabbath; a leper; Jairus’ daughter; the woman with a hemorrhage; and the centurion’s servant. Every story involved a little skit, with kids obliged to think on their feet about why the characters acted as they did, and draw conclusions. We ended with Jesus blessing the little kids, which sets the stage for next week’s Loaves and Fishes miracle.
But these healing stories aren’t just treated as disconnected snippets of Jesus Is So Nice. Like all Bible stories, they are explicitly connected to Catholic themes, both individually and also as a group. From the Paralytic to the Centurion, I emphasized these concepts:
1. Having a physical encounter with Jesus is the normal way to get a miracle. Nobody just stays home and prays if it’s at all possible to engage Jesus both spiritually and physically. People will make a hole in a roof if that’s what it takes. Nobody ever got a miracle in the NT without having a physical encounter with Jesus or one of his authorized agents.
2. Having a physical encounter involves an act of faith which anyone can see. That is, by what people do their faith can be seen.
3. Jesus will do someone a favor if someone else acts in faith on their behalf. That’s intercession, and it still works.
4. Jesus can work a long-distance miracle; but the miracle is still initiated though a physical encounter.
5. Jesus can work miracles through physical stuff just like the Moses and Elijah, as when the woman grabbed his tassel: boom! Healed! Who touched me?
6. Faith by itself is good; faith in action is better. We comprise a body and a soul; so our bodies acting in harmony with our souls just makes sense. If ya ain’t doin’ ya prob’ly ain’t believin’ either.
7. Jesus has a body and a soul, too. That’s why everyone was so excited: to be able to access God physically was a big deal.
8. It’s still the norm to have a physical encounter with Jesus. That’s what sacraments are for, especially the Eucharist and Confession. Eating God is a big deal. But just like the centurion, you have to believe without seeing.
9. Healing physical sickness matters; but healing spiritual sickness matters more.
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