Friday, January 18, 2013

Gospel Reflection

January 18, 2013
Friday – Year of Faith – Weekday
by Rev. Fr. Juancho "Choy" Ramos (Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, Parish of Sta. Cruz, Manila)
12:15 PM Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady Queen of Peace (EDSA Shrine)
Reading 1 Heb 4:1-5, 11

Let us be on our guard while the promise of entering into his rest remains, that none of you seem to have failed. For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did. But the word that they heard did not profit them, for they were not united in faith with those who listened. For we who believed enter into that rest, just as he has said: As I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter into my rest,” and yet his works were accomplished at the foundation of the world. For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner, And God rested on the seventh day from all his works; and again, in the previously mentioned place, They shall not enter into my rest.

Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest, so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

Responsorial Psalm PS 78:3 and 4bc, 6c-7, 8

R.(see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
That they too may rise and declare to their sons
that they should put their hope in God,
And not forget the deeds of God
but keep his commands.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And not be like their fathers,
a generation wayward and rebellious,
A generation that kept not its heart steadfast
nor its spirit faithful toward God.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Gospel Mk 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.”


The story of the paralytic is probably our own story. If you notice, in the Gospel of Mark, the Lord addressed the paralyzed man a question on healing and faith. 

One thing that struck me is, if we are keen to listen to the Gospel, our Lord said to the paralyzed man, "Child, your sins are forgiven." He did not say "You are healed" or "Your physical difficulties are already whole". Jesus addressed something deep within the person. Something that paralyzed the person within.

We can totally relate to this man, who is full of sinfulness, because in one way or another, we are paralyzed by our own human limitations, by our own weaknesses. Therefore, these are the things that Jesus needs to address in our own life. Probably we can walk, probably we can hear, probably we can do what we want, and so we are whole in a sense. But deep within us, probably there are things that need to be healed. And so in that sense, we need Christ.

If we listen and try to answer that question for ourselves, "Ano nga ba ang mga bagay na nagpapabigat sa akin ngayon, na nagpa-paralyze sa akin upang muling magbago? Na nagtatawag sa akin ng di malamang pagkilos sapagkat ako ay natatakot, ako ay nangangamba. Mayroon akong mga katanungang di ko mabigyan ng kasagutan?" These are the realities that need God's healing and forgiveness. 

And so with this, in the community, we also invite people na makaka-akay sa atin at magpapakilala sa atin sa Diyos, katulad ng paralytic man na kung saan ay kinailangan niya ng mga kaibigan upang magdala sa kanya kay Hesus. At sa mga ganitong situwasyon, ang kinakailangan natin ay kababaang-loob. Can I reach out to my brothers and sisters and ask for their help, so that I can really understand the call of God in my own life? 

Without humility, healing is impossible for us. And so let us take out the pride and all that hinders us from seeing the beauty of God and from receiving his healing and forgiveness. In this celebration, our Lord comes to us in the form of Bread, na kung saan ay inihahayag Niya ang Kanyang sarili upang madama natin ang Kanyang pagmamahal. Ito ang ating ipanalangin, na mula sa ating kalooban, sa ating pagkatao, at sa ating kababaang-loob, ay manguna sa atin ang pagmamahal ng Diyos. Siya ang dakilang dahilan upang tayo ay makalaya sa mga bagay na nagpapabigat sa atin. Makita nawa natin ang galaw at pagmamahal ng Panginoong Diyos sa ating buhay.