Todays Readings: March 16, 2021
“Do you want to be well?… ”Rise, take up your mat, and walk”
Although I’ve hear stories of people’ sufferings from the moment they were born or about those who were subjected to a physical and psychological abuse; I‘d convince myself that Sufferings and pain are the consequences of our sins. So, when the unattended wounds left by my abortion were infecting my heart and soul; at first I tried to ignore the pain by pretending it was not there. When trying to ignore my pain did not work, I’d spent whole nights recriminating God for allowing my abortion to happen. The shame, disappointment and self-hatred had built up so thick and dark inside me that nobody noticed I desperately needed help, No even myself. I tried to no avail to be Happy and look fine and perfect to everybody’s eyes. For moments, I thought I’d succeeded. But, eventually the infection inside me started to manifest in my behavior.
After I received absolution of my sins in the Sacrament of confession, I kept coming back to confess it again and again. It is not an exaggeration, but I visited the confessionary of every church in my County. I cannot say for sure if I wanted a reassurance from my first absolution or to receive a painful penance, as a punishment for my sin. Finally, with great concern I decided to go on my RV weekend retreat. There, deep in my heart I’ve heard Jesus asked me the very same question He asked the paralytic “Do you want to be well?”, my “yes” led me to participate on three additional Healing Retreats. Because of long years of self-impost paralysis, it took three more Entering Canaan retreats before I could finally, fully accept in my life those beautiful words of forgiveness and absolution “Rise, take up your mat, and walk” which actually occurred at an Entering Canaan Advent retreat.
Today, I am living a life of true freedom. Jesus died and rose to set me free from sin and death. He offered me a new life and I accepted it. My sin of abortion left my heart scarred and sore, but now, in retrospect, I can see how all the pain I went through has taught me to be more compassionate and merciful with others. Now, through faith, I see there is a purpose for every kind of suffering. Every time we go through negative events, even if it’s difficult to understand, it is an invitation to look at the One who, being innocent suffered like a criminal for each one of us by dying on the cross. For our salvation Jesus has risen and I rise with Him.
After each retreat, I “took up my mat” accepting Jesus Mercy and let Him heal my soul; by taking the responsibility of cutting off the life of my baby, asking for his forgiveness and started to allow my heart to love him and to be loved by him. I “took up my mat” when Jesus gave me the grace to forgive myself and be free to love Him and to become a channel of his love for others. In a mysterious way, God can use our own wounds, when healed, for the healing of others.
Today, because Jesus made me well, I can choose every day to walk in His ways. I am a witness of his Merciful love, and my only desire is to follow Him and bring His message of healing and forgiveness to all whose lives have been paralyzed from living years of secret and silence suffering from post-traumas of Abortion.
My friends, Jesus is with us as gentle and loving as He was with the paralytic of Bethesda. Today like two thousand years ago He wants us to be well. Let us accept His purifying and transformative Love. Let’s pray together with the psalmist: “A clean heart create for me, O God; give me back the joy of your salvation”.