Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 13.01.2023
HEBREWS 4: 1 – 5, 11
Brethren: While the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. For good news came to us just as to them; but the message which they heard did not benefit them, because it did not meet with faith in the hearers. For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said, “As I swore in my wrath, ‘They shall never enter my rest,”’ although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way, “And God rested on the seventh day from all his works.” And again in this place he said, “They shall never enter my rest.” Let us therefore strive to enter that rest, that no one fall by the same sort of disobedience.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 78: 3, 4bc, 6c – 7, 8 (R.) 7b
R/. Never forget the deeds of the Lord!
The things we have heard and understood,
the things our fathers have told us,
but will tell them to the next generation:
the glories of the LORD and his might. R/.
They should arise and declare it to their children,
that they should set their hope in God,
and never forget God’s deeds,
but keep every one of his commands, R/.
So that they might not be like their fathers,
a defiant and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was fickle,
whose spirit was not faithful to God. R/.
Luke 7: 16
A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited his people. Alleluia.
“The Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
MARK 2: 1 – 12
When Jesus returned to Capemaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about 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 pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like this? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they questioned like this within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question like this in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your pallet 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, take up your pallet and go home.” And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”
The Gospel of the Lord.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: An Act of the Greatest Charity
January 13, 2023
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. (Mark 2:3–4)
This paralytic is a symbol of certain people in our lives who seem to be incapable of turning to our Lord by their own effort. It’s clear that the paralytic wanted healing, but he was unable to come to our Lord by his own effort. Therefore, the friends of this paralytic carried him to Jesus, opened the roof (since there was such a large crowd), and lowered the man down before Jesus.
The paralysis of this man is a symbol of a certain type of sin. It’s a sin for which someone desires forgiveness but is incapable of turning to our Lord by their own effort. For example, a serious addiction is something that can so dominate a person’s life that they cannot overcome this addiction by their own effort. They need the help of others to even be able to turn to our Lord for help.
We each must see ourselves as the friends of this paralytic. Too often when we see someone who is trapped in a life of sin, we simply judge them and turn away from them. But one of the greatest acts of charity we can offer another is to help provide them with the means they need to overcome their sin. This can be done by our counsel, our unwavering compassion, a listening ear, and by any act of fidelity to that person during their time of need and despair.
How do you treat people who are caught in the cycle of manifest sin? Do you roll your eyes at them and turn away? Or do you firmly determine to be there for them to give them hope and to assist them when they have little or no hope in life to overcome their sin? One of the greatest gifts you can give to another is the gift of hope by being there for them to help them turn fully to our Lord.
Reflect, today, upon a person you know who seems to be not only caught in the cycle of sin but has also lost hope to overcome that sin. Prayerfully surrender yourself over to our Lord and commit yourself to the charitable act of doing anything and everything you can so as to help them fully turn to our divine Lord.
My precious Jesus, fill my heart with charity toward those who need You the most but seem incapable of overcoming the sin in their lives that keep them from You. May my unwavering commitment to them be an act of charity that gives them the hope they need to surrender their life to You. Use me, dear Lord. My life is in Your hands. Jesus, I trust in You.