Readings for Friday January 14, 2011
First Reading: Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 78
Gospel: 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.” (Mk. 2:1-12)
One of our unfortunate human tendencies is to rain on someone elses parade. Many times when something good happens, our "negative nancy" mode kicks in (sorry to all those named nancy, it is just a phrase). We start to see the glass half empty, and start seeing the flaws in things, rather than rejoicing in the positive. This is especially true in our family relationships. Instead of seeing the joy in something, we cannot help but see the negative. This seemed to be the case with the scribes and pharisees in today's gospel. Instead of glorifying God and praising Him for a sinner being forgiven, they start questioning Jesus' authority. I mean, talk about raining on this man's parade! Here this paralytic is forgiven of his sins, which he probably didn't even worry about being paralyzed after hearing that, he was probably overjoyed that Jesus just healed his soul; unfortunately the scribes and pharisees didn't think that way.
Negativity is just something that comes naturally for us, many times it can be a good thing because it keeps us cautious and prudent; but it can also overtake us. Instead of first seeing the negative, we need to step back and look for the positive in every situation. Sometimes it can take longer to find, but it is there. Instead of sitting back and being negative like the scribes and pharisees, we need to move past our own negative thoughts and thank and praise God for all of His mighty works!
God, we thank you and praise you for the gift of this day. Lord, help us to shed the pessimism and negativity that often envelopes us. Help us to have hearts that are full of love and gratitude for all that you do and all that you bless us with. Lord, help us to step back and let you be Lord of our life. We ask this all through Christ our Lord. Amen.