Disciple: The Recovering Sinner

“Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do…

I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

Matthew 9:12-13


A personal resolution I made at the beginning of the year was to

“Live like a rehabbing sinner.”


This mantra has its origins from an experience I had in the winter of 2017 when I accidentally walked into an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I had a spiritually edifying conversation about the AA recovery program with one of its members. That encounter made me curious to learn more about the process of AA and other 12-step programs. The first step is very similar to a repentant sinner: “We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.” The beginning of the journey to Christ is to make this admission about any and all sin that is ruling our life.

Later on in that year, my dad lent me the biography of Fr. Mychal Judge. He is famously known for being the first recorded death in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. He was a Franciscan, a NYC firehouse chaplain and he was also a recovering alcoholic who went through the 12-step Alcoholics Anonymous program. He was actually already ordained and serving others as a priest when he realized that he needed help for his addiction.

Thornton Wilder, a playwright and novelist, is quoted in the book

“In Love’s service, only wounded soldiers can serve.”

He credited much of the fruitfulness in his ministry to the fact that he had real struggles of his own. And it was because of his suffering that he was able to love others well, not in spite of it.

We are both patient and assistant to the Divine Physician, but we are only ‘assistant’ because we are first His patients. We are always a patient in need of attention and care. We are perpetually in convalescence and simultaneously working to earn the trust of the other sick and suffering people who need the care of the Divine Physician. That is the work of a disciple.

And just as we need to make a consistent effort towards recovery after corporal surgery, so too do we need a kind of therapy for spiritual matters.

“with all humility and gentleness, with patience,
bearing with one another through love,
striving to preserve the unity of the Spirit
through the bond of peace”

Ephesians 4:2-3


Therapy is a painful process, but we will be all the better for it.

Disclose your condition.

 Trust the Physician.

 Grow in the Divine Life.

During the week, Matthew Juliano is a mentor for individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities. On the weekends, he is a drummer for Full Armor Band. You can find more content by Matt and his band at www.fullarmorband.com.