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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Mk 2/1-12
Catholic Homilies
February 23rd, 2003

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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Mk 2/1-12


Scripture scholars today generally repudiate the conviction of scholars from a generation or two that Jesus did not work any miracles save the conversion of human hearts. They say that the tradition that Jesus did signs and wonders is just too important and too powerful to be casually dismissed. They leave open the question of the precise nature of the miracles which has so baffled rationalists and believers who want to keep the rationalists happy. Jesus did signs and wonders to show that the kingdom of God was at hand, about that there can be no debate. The issue of how he did them is less important than that he did them and why he did them. Jesus did miracles to heal human bodies and to show, as in today's Gospel, that he came to heal human spiritual hunger too. In this richly detailed story we see that, like the senior in last week's story Jesus like helping others.

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Once upon a time there was a young doctor in a hospital who had great instincts about what was wrong with people, probably because she liked them so much and listened very carefully to what they said. She was so kind and pleasant and cheerful that all the patients love her, but some of her colleagues and some of the nurses, thought she was a little creepy. Not exactly a Patch Adams perhaps, but still someone who spent to much time being nice. So one night when she was on call, she went into the room of a man who was in for observation because he had a fever and a diffuse pain. He refused to complain no matter how bad the pain was (he was Irish and that's the way they generally try to react to pain!). She did her usual pleasant act and noticed that it did not have much effect. He man was pale and miserable, she could tell that. She touched his head. Fever was higher. She jabbed at his gut. He shouted in agony. She called for a surgeon. Hidden bowl obstruction, she said. Take it out. They did, and the man recovered and went home happy. Which is easier, she said, to smile at people or to catch their symptoms because they trust you.

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Which is easier, she said, to smile at people or to catch their symptoms because they trust you
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