Faith Daily | 15 January 2021
PRAYER of the WEEK Baptism of the Lord
who anointed Jesus at his baptism with the Holy Spirit
and revealed him as your beloved Son:
inspire us, your children,
who are born again of water and the Spirit,
to surrender our lives to your service,
that we may rejoice to be called your children;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 2: 1-12
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. 3Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. 5When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7“Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? 9Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? 10But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— 11“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” 12And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by Virgin Hasker
A lovely story about a man who was healed but also about a group of friends who were able, through their courage and ingenuity, to help bring this about. Not only did they ‘seize the day’ when they heard about Jesus being in Capernaum, and carry the man on his stretcher to where Jesus was, but they didn’t give up when they saw the crowds and realized that they couldn’t get into the house. How would we feel about having the tiles or sheets or iron lifted off our roof and a hole ‘dug’ in our ceiling? What determination and effort for a friend, not to mention their faith in Jesus ability to change his condition.
Jesus response was equally surprising to those who were present in the room where he was teaching, namely the scribes. He forgave his sins! So was the paralytic responsible for his condition through the sin that he had committed?
‘Now in the Jewish culture and religion of this time, people suffering from infirmity or sickness are considered to be recipients of God’s punishment; its common belief that someone – either they themselves or a parent – must have sinned and so has merited the infirmity. Because of this viscous perspective, the crushing soul-pain of guilt gets heaped upon the already crippling mental and physical pain of disability. Jesus is moved by the gritty faith and friendship of these friends who have been prepared to shoulder the dead-weight of the paralysed man to give him a chance to be re-integrated into society’. (Patrick Oliver, The Freeing of God, Volume II - Mark)
FINAL PRAYER: Prayer of Gratitude
You loved your friends and
demonstrated acceptance, encouragement, and intimacy.
Thank you for the friends you have given me.
For the rest found in knowing acceptance.
For the blessing found in being encouraged.
And for the heavenly touch of intimacy that
comes through the rich inheritance
found in you.