FRIDAY 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL, COMMENTARY AND READING. “YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN” (Mk 2:1–12).
GOSPEL OF FRIDAY OF THE 1ST WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The curing of the paralytic
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 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. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth,” he said to the paralytic, “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.”
The Gospel of today’s Mass narrates the curing of the paralytic brought about by the sincere concern and loving effort of his four friends who with their creativity and determination resulted to the marvellous encounter of the paralytic with Jesus.
- Child, your sins are forgiven: Jesus healed the paralytic after he forgave his sins to show to those who are doubting that He has the power not only over the body but also the spirit and to underline the fact that spiritual illness is worse than physical infirmity.
- This miracle was made possible through the effort of the paralytic’s friends who invented the way to put him in front of Our Lord. This event teaches us what true friendship consists in: wanting the real good of the friend. It doesn’t seek one’s own interests, but rather that of the friend.
- The incredulous and skeptic behaviour of the pharisees warns us to overcome rash judgments against other people.
May we realise that spiritual illness is much worse that bodily sickness for in the former, one is separated from God, while in the latter, one could take advantage to purify himself, offer his illness to God, and thus, grow in intimacy with Him.
May we also be real friends of our friends, wanting always their true and real good (benevolence), bringing them closer to God so that they could also be healed of their spiritual illness. And lastly, may we reject whatever though which would imply harsh, rash and false judgments, for only God knows what is in the hearts of men.
Stay safe always. A great day ahead and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care, o Lord, we pray, that they may see what must be done, and gain strength to do what they have seen. Through our Lord.Collect prayer 1st week in Ordinary Time
TOPIC: WHEN YOUR FEELINGS ARE HURT, DO YOU GO ON A FIGHT, FLIGHT OR FORGIVE MODE?
In today’s gospel reading (Mark 2:1-12), Jesus comes back to a house in Capernaum after spending time in the desert. Thick crowds gather around the house, which prevented people from further entering. Four men arrive with a paralytic friend. Unable to get in, they climbed up the roof of the house, removed some tiles and let the man down for Jesus to heal. Jesus was touched with their faith and the first thing Jesus says is, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Unlike the sickness of the Jews, which they thought was a punishment for their sins or that of their parents, we find that today our sickness may be self-inflicted and forgiveness is the key to healing. Jesus commands it. Science proves it.
READING FROM WRITINGS OF SAINTS
The Word creates a divine harmony in creation
by St. Athanasius
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made. In these words John the theologian teaches that nothing exists or remains in being except in and through the Word.
Think of a musician tuning his lyre. By his skill he adjusts high notes to low and intermediate notes to the rest, and produces a series of harmonies. So too the wisdom of God holds the world like a lyre and joins things in the air to those on earth, and things in heaven to those in the air, and brings each part into harmony with the whole. By his decree and will he regulates them all to produce the beauty and harmony of a single, well-ordered universe. While remaining unchanged with his Father, he moves all creation by his unchanging nature, according to the Father’s will. To everything he gives existence and life in accordance with its nature, and so creates a wonderful and truly divine harmony.
To illustrate this profound mystery, let us take the example of a choir of many singers. A choir is composed of a variety of men, women and children, of both old and young. Under the direction of one conductor, each sings in the way that is natural for him: men with men’s voices, boys with boys’ voices, old people with old voices, young people with young voices. Yet all of them produce a single harmony. Or consider the example of our soul. It moves our senses according to their several functions so that in the presence of a single object they all act simultaneously: the eye sees, the ear hears, the hand touches, the nose smells, the tongue tastes, and often the other parts of the body act as well as, for example, the feet may walk.
Although this is only a poor comparison, it gives some idea of how the whole universe is governed. The Word of God has but to give a gesture of command and everything falls into place; each creature performs its own proper function, and all together constitute one single harmonious order.
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