Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 4:1-5.11; Mark 2:1-12)
In a discussion of a supreme power that gave rise to the forces producing the universe, the celebrated atheist Richard Dawkins once admitted the possibility of such a being. But he quickly distanced himself from belief in any kind of God who cares about individual humans. In today’s gospel Mark gives glimpses of Jesus who does precisely what Dawkins finds incredible.
In the Old Testament, God is said not to judge by appearances because He knows the human heart. Jesus in today’s passage likewise knows the hearts of the scribes who silently accuse him of blasphemy. More than that, Jesus shows that he indeed can forgive sins, which is also said to be an attribute only of God, when he heals the paralytic after pronouncing his sins pardoned. It may be added that the four men who work to put the paralytic before Jesus show the same faith in Jesus as was reserved for God in the Old Testament.
Lots of things today interfere with faith in Jesus. People look for instant gratification of all their desires. Scientists like Dawkins regularly scoff at the idea of a loving God. The majority in society no longer attends church. We must not let these or any other condition interfere with our trust in the Lord. Staying close to him, our sins will be forgiven and we will enter unhampered into eternal life.