Carry the gospel with you

Posted in christian, Christianity, inspirational, religion, scripture by Mike on January 17, 2014

e6042a89fcd20f45a5a4ed1639465ca4_w600Gospel reading of the day:

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.”

Reflection on the gospel reading: Jesus asks a question in today’s gospel. He inquires, “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?” Whatever is in Jesus’ mind when he asks the question, it would seem that the easier thing to say is, “Your sins are forgiven.” It’s easier to say, “Your sins are forgiven,” because if someone says that, no one can challenge whether it has happened, at least challenge it in any empirical way, whether or not in fact the statement was efficacious.

The harder thing is to say to a paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” Here, the proof is in the pudding. The paralytic either stands up or doesn’t.

Of course, the central point of the gospel passage is that Jesus’ word is efficacious. Jesus doesn’t say things carelessly; what he promises, he does. For him, neither forgiving sins nor making the broken whole is impossible; he does the one as easily and as faithfully as he does the other.

Saint of the day: The Servant of God Giuseppina Berettoni was born in Rome in August 1875. Her parents were Cesare Berettoni and Orsola Marini. Giuseppina was only eight when, contrary to the custom of those times, she received her First Communion. At only nine, she decided to dedicate her entire life to God. She had an intense concern for everyone and Giuseppina Berettonieverything that crossed her, with a special preference for the Clergy and everybody consecrated to God. With youngsters she was a strong but amiable teacher; with children, she was always motherly. She worked for the Daughters of Mary until the last day of her life; in the secular Franciscans she was an unparalleled novice mistress. She worked with the dying, successfully encouraging many of them to reconcile with God before they died. Her activity was carried out mainly in Rome, where she spent the major part of her life, but her good deeds also reached Argentina, Genoa e the Marche, places where she lived for short periods.

Quick and perspicacious, witty and lively in conversation, she was liked by everyone. Her overwhelming love for Jesus radiated from her attractive presence which reflected a deep rooted innocence and purity. As she had prayed and foretold, God granted her to close her life in the field. On January 17, 1927, just after receiving Holy Communion in the Basilica of St.
Mary Major where she had been baptized, she collapsed near the Chapel of Our Lady of “Salus populi Romani. She is buried in the Verano Cemetery in Rome.

Spiritual reading: The prayer of the monk is not perfect until he no longer recognizes himself or the fact that he is praying. (St. Anthony)


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