Friday, January 16, 2009
"Rise, pick up your mat and go home."
Today's Gospel presents us with several scenes to reflect upon:
Scene One = Jesus has returned to Capernaum after some days. When people heard that he was at home, so many gathered that no one could even get to the door. He preached to them.
Mark does not tell us what Jesus said. Was he telling them stories? Or was he letting them know about the Beatitudes that he would later preach to so many? These are the people he cured and their families. They are filled with gratitude and so their hearts are open to hear the Word of God. There are also some Scribes present and they seem always to be critical of Jesus and he knows that. Listen to Jesus.
Scene Two: Four friends have carried a paralytic but cannot get in to see Jesus. They carry the paralytic up to the roof, remove part of the roof, and let the mat down with the paralytic lying on it. Mark tells us that "when Jesus saw their faith (this is the faith of the four friends), he said "Child, your sins are forgiven."
Have I faith enough to bring others to Jesus? These friends did not let the press of people stop them, but found a way to make Jesus notice the paralytic by making him present to Jesus in spite of the obstacles. And Jesus saw their faith!
Scene Three: The Scribes begin to murmur and criticize. Jesus asks them, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Then Jesus tells them, "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." And he rose, picked up his mat at once and went away. They were all astounded and glorified God.
Nothing is impossible with God. Let us have faith and trust the Lord!