Astounding!
Malvern Minute

Today's Daily Reflection

From Mark Poletunow

Every day, Mark Poletunow, Malvern Retreat House’s President, takes time to reflect and pray about the daily reading. Take a minute to join him as he illuminates the scriptures.

 

January 12, 2018       Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. Alleluia, alleluia!

Mark J. Poletunow, Malvern President (mpoletunow@malvernretreat.com)

Click for: Readings for the day (From the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops)

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (2:1-12)

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.”

Reflect: They were all astounded and glorified God. Jesus forgives sins and makes a paralyzed man walk. Astonishing! The power and the presence of God is astonishing. A world paralyzed by sin – social and individual – needs to be carried to God. We are overburdened with sin. Individually, our lives can be a mess. We look for answers in the wrong places. Our selfishness and pride cripple us. Socially, our blind eye to racism, prejudice, isolation of the poor and those in need, use of others as objects, ignoring the least among us for the sake of our own gain and comfort or to promote a particular misplaced ideology, separates us from the Kingdom of God in our midst. This Friday of Ordinary time is an opportunity for us to confess our sins and to ask God for forgiveness. Individual sin hunches us down; it stops us from walking straight. We need to walk tall as children of God so that we can be effective missionary disciples in the world. Social sin clouds our vision. Perspective about God’s intention for the world is distorted. We are called to announce good news to the poor, a day of favor from God; to lift up the lowly, and fill the hungry with good things. When that happens, we live in the Good News. When that happens, the world is astounded and glorifies God!

Questions: Have I asked God for awareness of my personal sin? Do I pay attention to how my attitudes, actions or lack of action contributes to social sin? Can I begin today to take inventory of and ask forgiveness for my personal and social sin? Can I make time soon for sacramental confession?

Pray: Loving God, you shine pure light on my life. Help me to be conscious of my sin. Give me a desire to confess my failings so that I might be renewed and refreshed; freed to announce the Good News as your disciple in the world.  I pray this in the powerful and perfect name of Jesus. Amen.                                       

Holy God; Holy and Might One; Holy and Immortal One: Have mercy on me and on the whole world.


ENCOUNTERING DIVINE PHYSICIAN (Gospel of Luke 5: 17-26)

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