Friday, 16 January 2015

The face of God

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Malcolm Davies (No. 62)                      
When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected there that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. 
Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’
Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ 
Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? 
But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he said to the paralytic – ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ 
And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’ (Mark 2:1-12)

Up to now the Gospel of Mark has focused on the miracles that Jesus performed, but in this story we have a sign that Jesus has come to heal all of us from something that is more destructive that any disease or illness and that is our sins.

The scribes could envisage a man performing healings and miracles but not forgiving sins because only God could do that. 

Jesus is one with the Father and therefore he knows what they are thinking and had the power and authority to forgive sins.

Like the paralytic, Jesus wants to liberate us from our sins that, like any disease or illness, cripples and enslaves us. 

Jesus is the face of God in the world and if we want to know what God is like we just have to look at the ministry of Jesus.

We are challenged by the Gospel today to reflect on whether we have truly experienced the liberation from sin and darkness that Jesus offers us through the power of the cross.

When we have experienced true forgiveness then we will live a life that causes others to praise God and say ‘We have never seen anything like this.’

Photo by C.Timpani
5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.
Malcolm Davies

Next Reflection: Susanne Timpani Sunday 18th January, 2015

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