Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection January 12, 2024


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R/. I will sing forever of your mercies, O Lord.

V/. Alleluia R/. Alleluia

V/. A great prophet has arisen among us! and God has visited his people!

R/. Alleluia

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no more room, not even at the door. And he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

1. One greatest malaise of our present society is a rapid and steep decline of faith. This pertains not only to the religious domain but also to all the fields and spheres of life. There is a lack of faith in families, in religious circles, in politics, in business, and what not.

2. The immediate consequence is interior unhealthiness. Those who lack faith and are not faithful can never be happy and healthy in the full sense.

3. The people of Israel in the first reading lacked this faith in God. They are fascinated by the concept and the rule of earthly kings of their neighbourhood.

4. They completely forget the fact that God is the greatest king, the king of kings. No other king can replace God for His might and benevolence.

5. They also totally lose sight of the enormous mercy of God toward them in their history. Even the wise warning of Samuel about the perils of an evil king like slavery, suppression, and extortion.

6. But his wise warning could not dissuade them. They are obstinate in their demand. Consequently, they not only reject Samuel’s advice but God Himself.

7. In the gospel too we have an example of faith and lack of faith respectively. The friends of a paralytic, brought to Jesus through the roof exemplify this faith. The scribes who blame Jesus for blasphemy embody this lack of faith.

8. The four friends of the paralytic realizing the almost impossibility of reaching Jesus through the crowd make an opening in the roofing and let down their friend on the bed straight in front of Jesus.

9. On the other hand, the scribes harp on Jesus’ healing words, “Your sins are forgiven” and accuse him of blasphemy.

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