January 14 2022 Gospel Reading and Reflection: Mark 2:1-12

A reading from the gospel according to Mark 2:1-12:

1 When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.
2 Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.
3 They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
4 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.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
7 “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
8 Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?
10 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”
11 he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
12 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: Friends who help

In the gospel reading above, four men brought a paralytic man to Jesus for healing. These four men were either relatives or friends of the paralytic man but it doesn’t matter. What is significant is that they believed so much in the power of Jesus to heal so they did not allow anything to hinder them from accomplishing their mission. This may indicate also how much they love the paralytic man that they wanted him to be cured at all cost.

Jesus appreciates the faith of the four men and not really the faith of the paralytic man. It was their faith that Jesus saw. And what a tremendous power faith can have. It has moved the four friends or relatives to do everything, even to the extent of destroying a roof, in order to bring the man to Jesus.

Yet, Jesus recognized the need for forgiveness before healing can take place. In the case of the paralytic man, we can assume that he was full of guilt which may have caused the paralysis or at least aggravated the disease. Faith and forgiveness can cure even cancer.

It is important to note that when we give help, it is not just the one we help who gets the benefit. The help we give to others comes back to us in so many ways. It may not be noticeable in the here and now but it will happen, perhaps even after many years or even in the afterlife. This is not to say that when we give help, we always expect something in return especially by the one we helped. We just have to remember that there is joy in helping and God who sees everything that we do will appreciate it and He will be glorified.

In the same manner, when we hurt others, expect the same thing to happen to us. This is called judgment and it is very much same as the law of karma in which nobody can get away with it. It is therefore necessary to adhere to the golden rule: Do unto others what we would like others do unto us (Matthew 7:12). If we all do this, peace will descend on earth.

See also related reflection here.

Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 14, 2022
Gospel Reading and Reflection for January 14, 2022

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