1 samuel 8:4-7; Ps 89 for ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord; Mark 2:1-12
A brief word on the first reading and the psalm before we get to the gospel.
In the first reading we see the people of Israel long for a human king because they wanted to be like the other nations, they wanted to be like everyone else.
Here is a great temptation for all of us as we journey through life. How often we forsake our uniqueness in trying to be like others? how often do we give into the temptation to just blend in. In this case, the uniqueness was their relationship with God and His relationship with then as his chosen people. This too they were willing to forsake to be like the other nations. Can u think of anything more tragic?
God's plan A was to be the central reality of the people of Israel's lives. They rejected him. Yet in their human failings, God does not forsake them but rather respects their freedom and brings good through this. God continues to act through plan b in order to lead the people to what they really need and beyond what they think they need. Praise God for that.
In the psalm our refrain is, for ever i will sing the goodness of the Lord. The word for ever, is a hebrew word that signifies the unfolding to the world one day at a time. The psalmist invites us to praise God for ever by praising him today, one day at a time. It reminds me of the song that is often sung at funerals, One day at a time Lord Jesus. This is a good mantra for us as we journey. Sing his praise as the day unfolds, we shouldn't get a head of ourselves or get lost in the past but just steady as the world turns we enter in to the song of praise one day at a time. We praise him more for we fathom him less.
The gospel we continue to journey with Mark as he tells the encounter of Jesus in the beginning of his public ministry. Jesus hits the ground running. Already he has cured many and he continues bringing God's healing touch the lives of the people he encounters.
Today a man is paralyzed, lying on a mat, unable to move. His friends carry him and lower him through the roof in order that he might get close to Jesus. Imagine tearing a hole in smeone's roof to get close to Jesus. Sometimes in order to get healing we have to do crazy things. We must be bad in seeking it.
First all, we encounter in the gospel that the man is paralyzed not because of sickness or physical illness but rather by his sins. He has spiritual and emotional blocks that keep him paralyzed. It is Jesus offering forgiveness to him that frees him from is paralyzed state and enables him to rise and pick up his mat and walk.
What sins paralyze us? What sins hold us imprisoned in ourselves? These are not necessarily personal sins but it may be things we have inherited in a sense. Perhaps we have wounds from sins of our parents or siblings that have created wounds of abandonment, rejection, hopelessness, helplessness, fear, shame, confusion in side us. Perhaps these are the things that need to be attended to by God's good grace.
Ask God to show you. Let his Spirit illumine the recesses of your memory and heart to shed light and healing.
Secondly, the friends are instrumental. It is by their faith, as Jesus points out, this man is healed and made whole. So often our friends are more aware of our sickness then we are. Also, their faith isn't isolated but rather it is engaged for the sake of the other. Faith if it is real must touch the people around us and bring God's healing to them even if they can't find the strength to call out for it themselves.
Just a few thoughts for reflection.