7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25; 2Cor 1:18-22; Mk 2:1 – 12
Being a guy who sometimes struggles with Hospitality, I am always caught up in wonder whenever I read the miracle story that Mark presents to us this Sunday. Jesus is teaching, “at home” in Capernaum, and the house is packed. So much so that four men who carry a fifth paralyzed friend on a stretcher can’t get into the house. Instead, they climb on top of the roof – a roof composed mostly of dried mud – and dig a hole so that they can lower their friend down upon a stretcher.
All I can think of is the mess. Imagine all of that dust and dirt falling on and around Jesus and anyone else in the room. What must the crowd have been thinking? What must Jesus have been thinking?
I know what I would have been thinking – and shouting. Something like this: “I don’t know who you guys are or what you think you are doing, but how dare you wreck my house! I’m calling the police right now and you are surely going to be arrested and you are surely going to pay for my roof!”
What does Jesus say? “Child, your sins are forgiven.” All Jesus sees is the man’s need and the faith of his friends. Even in the midst of the chaos. Even at his own expense.
Isn’t this wondrous? Yes, the miracle itself is impressive, but it does not touch my soul the way this simple rememberance of Jesus’ perfect presence to someone in need does. Truly we are caught up in a relationship of love with the God of the present moment. And it is to the extent we are in this present moment that we can meet God.
Something to reflect upon as we enter into the final precious days of the simple, sacred weeks of Ordinary Time.
Jim Philipps (3rd millennium pilgrim)
(Speaking of Lent – Pat Leonard and I will be leading two Lenten retreats this year – one on Monday nights at St. James church in Setauket and the other on Wednesday nights at St. Frances de Chantal church in Wantagh. Both programs begin at 7:30PM and are about an hour in duration. While the retreat has an overall theme (“The Journey”) each week is self-contained. Come whenever you can.)