the battle of the mind
"Some of the scribes said to themselves, 'The Man blasphemes.' Jesus was aware of what they were thinking." —Matthew 9:3-4
Everyone present had the opportunity to have a part in Jesus' healing the paralyzed man. Jesus did the healing and the forgiving. The man's friends had faith enough to bring the paralyzed man to Jesus (Mt 9:2). The man himself had courage to repent and receive Jesus' forgiveness for his sins (Mt 9:2). The crowd had the opportunity to respond to the healing with praise (Mt 9:8). The scribes too could have participated by faith, repentance, and/or praise. Instead of taking part in the healing, they decided to oppose it. They did this not by saying anything but by thinking "evil thoughts" (Mt 9:4). In their minds, they accused Jesus of blasphemy, and this made them obstacles to healing and forgiveness instead of participants in them (Mt 9:3).
What about your thoughts? Do they give glory to God? Are they thoughts of peace or of affliction? (Jer 29:11) The Lord can read your mind, so your thoughts either include you or distance you from God's work. That's why "your thoughts should be wholly directed to all that is true, all that deserves respect, all that is honest, pure, admirable, decent, virtuous, or worthy of praise" (Phil 4:8).
Prayer: Jesus, purify my mind and be Lord of it.
Promise: "The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul." —Ps 19:8
Praise: Bl. Junipero spent thirty-four years building up the Church in California.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our tape Overcoming Temptation on audio AV 63-3 or video V-63.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2009
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