Saturday, February 18, 2012

Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus is visible and He is the revelation of the invisible. This is a basic lesson of the New Testament that we can find in todays gospel But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth (Mk 2: 10). The cure of the paralytic, a visible fact, helped to see the forgiveness of sins that is an invisible reality.
The paralysis was not the result of sin necessarily (Jn 9: 2-3). Sin doesnt produce visible consequences (Lk 11: 44). But we can say that sin is like a paralysis, a paralysis of the soul of hope, happiness and joy. I hope this meditation will help us to see the powerful lesson in this analogy Jesus is using today.

When the paralytic came, the mat was carrying him; after the healing encounter with Jesus, its the paralytic who is carrying the mat. There are normally things that are like "mats" for us. For instance what we know as "defense mechanisms" that we use to protect a certain interior stability showing ourselves not too sensitive" or not  "too hard" or not "pretending that we don't see other necessities or problems"... Being aggressive with others also is also a defense mechanism for timid people. It serves like a "mat" that carries our paralysis, it doesnt cure us. But Jesus still heals souls, and once healed we don't need to use the so called "defense mechanisms" especially to be indifferently aggressive. Now we have power over the "mat".
On more than one occasion in the gospels we see Jesus penetrating the consciences of men and finding out their deepest thoughts and intentions. In today's passage, when the Scribes start to think: "Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?"(Mk 2: 7) Jesus is showing what they are thinking before they say it. This is not just something "awesome", this is crucial to show the divinity of Jesus. In the Old Testament, only God had the power to penetrate the thoughts of men. "More tortuous than anything is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it?  The LORD, explores the mind and tests the heart, giving to all according to their ways, according to the fruit of their deeds". (Jn 17: 9-10) and in Amos 4: 13 "So now I will deal with you in my own way, O Israel! and since I will deal thus with you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel: Him who formed the mountains, and created the wind, and declares to man his thoughts; Who made the dawn and the darkness, and strides upon the heights of the earth: The LORD, the God of hosts by name".
What is interesting is that Jesus is not saying that they are wrong when they say "only God can forgive sins" (Mk 2: 5 and 2: 7). He reaffirms that He Himself forgive sins.  Jesus, first saying "But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”—  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. (Mark 2: 10).  Jesus is clearly revealing His divine nature with discretion but firmly.

Jesus, thank you for this time to be with you. I humbly offer you my intention to set all my distractions aside so that I can encounter you, my Lord and my God. I hope in you and know that you could never let me down. I love you and long to love you with all of my strength. Aware of my misery and weakness, I trust in your mercy and love.
Lord, increase my zeal for souls
Sacred Heart of Jesus, help me to realize more deeply that you want me involved in salvation history. Im on the front lines. You entrust souls to me, and you want to bless their lives through my prayers, my sacrifices and my work. Increase my love for these souls. They need my help and my fidelity. I dont want to let them down. Help me to be faithful.

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