Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22a, Psalm 89:16-19, & Mark 2:1-12
Today's Gospel narrative begins as Jesus returns to Capernaum after being away for a few days. The Capernaums are pleased to see Him and are eager to hear Him preach. While Jesus taught, several others arrived, bringing a paralyzed man for Him to heal. Since the crowd was densely gathered about the house, the stretcher-bearers decided to open up the roof above Jesus and carefully lowered the paralyzed man into the house where our Lord was seated.
When Jesus saw the great faith these men had, He said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." The scribes heard Jesus and thought to themselves, "Who but God alone can forgive sins?" We all know what happens next—our Lord commands the paralytic to stand and walk. Every person in the room was astonished.
As we read more deeply into this narrative, we understand that the scribes interpreted the Scripture literally. After all, what was this great sin Jesus had committed, really? He had given the paralytic a great gift, yet the scribes protested His healing because it was conducted on the Sabbath. Because of this, they had looked for and found an opportunity to criticize Jesus and accuse Him of breaking the Law of the Sabbath.
Friends, today is a good day to examine ourselves. In which category do you place yourself? Consider, are you acting more like the scribes and applying a literal interpretation to the law? Or, do you follow in Jesus' footsteps striving to live the law of love above all?
Question of the Day: How will you strive to serve others as Jesus and His disciples did?
Prayer: "A great prophet has arisen in our midst, and God has visited His people. Alleluia, alleluia.