January 13th, 2023

The Holy Gospel according to Mark.  (Mark 2:1-12)

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.  Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.  They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.  Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him.  After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, Child, your sins are forgiven.”  Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, Why does this man speak that way?  He is blaspheming.  Who but God alone can forgive sins?”  Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?  Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven,or to say, Rise, pick up your mat and walk?  But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”–he said to the paralytic, I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”  He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone.  They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, We have never seen anything like this.”

Reflection:  Today’s Gospel contains a couple of main points for us to consider.  The first one is the faith of the 4 friends that brought their paralyzed friend to Jesus.  They had heard that Jesus was a great teacher, preacher and healer.  Because of their faith in Christ, they brought their friend to Jesus to be cured.  They bring their paralyzed friend to Jesus by lowering the friend through the roof to encounter Jesus.  Through this encounter with Jesus, the paralytic is cured, not only physically, but spiritually.  Jesus cures the paralytic physically and spiritually because of the faith of the 4 friends.  The second point is that Jesus is able to cure all of us, physically and, most importantly, spiritually.  This is the kind of Savior Jesus is.  His divine power reaches beyond our physical needs, to our deep spiritual wounds that sin inflicts on us.  We are all sinners.  When we acknowledge that we are sinners in need of a Savior, that is the first step to repentance and conversion.  Jesus wants to forgive us no matter how grievous we think our sins are.  All Jesus asks of us is that we come to him so that we can experience the spiritual healing only he can bring.  For us as Catholic Christians, that is what the sacrament of reconciliation is all about.  In that sacrament, our sins are forgiven and we receive mercy and grace to help us live a life in grace.  Then we can bring others to Christ.   

Action of the Day:  When was the last time you went to confession?  Today in your prayer, ask Our Lord for forgiveness for our sins.  Seek out an opportunity to go to the sacrament of reconciliation to receive the Lord’s mercy and forgiveness.  

Audio Reflection:

Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

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