Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
(Hebrews 4:1-5.11; Mark 2:1-12)
Time magazine once interviewed the celebrated atheist Richard Dawkins. The interviewer posed the possibility of an ultimate being that gave rise to the forces producing the universe. Dawkins admitted that the question intrigued him but quickly distanced himself from belief in a personal God. 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 shows himself with such knowledge. He reads 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 attributed to God alone. He pronounces the sins of the paralytic forgiven. Then he takes away the paralysis to verify the legitimacy of his pronouncement. It may be added that the four men who carry the paralytic show the same faith in Jesus as was reserved for God in the Old Testament.
Lots of things today interfere with faith. People seek gratification of desire. Scientists often scoff at the idea. Christians fail to give witness. We must not allow these or any other condition interfere with our faith in the Lord. Staying close to him, our sins will be forgiven, our lives will be worthy, and we will enter into eternal life.