Pick Up Your Mat – Good News for February 22

22 02 2009

Isaiah 43:18-19; 25

Remember not the events of the past, the things of long ago consider not; see, I am doing something new! Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?… It is I, I, who wipe out, for my own sake, your offenses; your sins I remember no more.

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 the paralytic, “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 Daily Path: Not that long ago, I was deeply troubled by some things that had occurred in my past. In my younger days I had committed some terrible sins. The memory of these acts were painful and had grown to haunt me no end. Finally, I decided to seek the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which is another story in and of itself. 

During the course of my confession, Father said some things that struck home and have stayed with me since that day. He told me: “Jesus knows what is in your heart.” He also went on to suggest that “I had to forgive myself.”

These words came to mind as I reflect on today’s readings. In Isaiah we hear that we have to let go of the past because God forgives us and then forgets our sin. He’s moved on so it’s time for us to do the same.

In Mark’s Gospel, he writes that Jesus knew what was in the hearts of the Pharisees when the paralytic was brought before Him. Jesus knows what is in our own hearts, too.  

While I will always regret the transgressions of my past, I no longer carry them around like the heavy chains of Jacob Marley. Jesus knew I was truly sorry. Understanding that was enough to allow me to let the healing begin.

Room to Chat: Find a moment to examine your heart and let God heal your wounds.





“Amazing” Tabloids – Good News For January 16

16 01 2009

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.”

The Daily Path: There are many themes in Scripture that we often see repeated. One is the astonishment of those who witness the miracles that Jesus performs. I believe we are surrounded by miracles, but in the vast majority of cases we’re too busy to see them. Imagine if the evening television tabloids were focused on the amazing work of God in our midst, instead of the colossal failures of the human spirit. I’d much rather witness those amazing acts than the false sensation of fallen celebrity. 

“Tonight on The Insider… Britney Spears opens a shelter in New Orleans for woman caught in the vicious cycle of drug addiction and prostitution. And later, hear why rapper Kanye West donated all proceeds from a recent Los Angeles performance to establish a trust fund for three children who lost their parents in gang related violence. These amazing acts and more coming up next…”

Room to Chat: How about a quiet reflection with God this very moment? He’s sitting right next to you.