1ST SAMUEL 8: 4 – 7, 10 – 22a
In those days: All the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah, and said to him, “Behold, you are old and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint for us a king to govern us like all the nations.” But the thing displeased Samuel when they said, “Give us a king to govern us.” And Samuel prayed to the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them.” So Samuel told all the words of the Lord to the people who were asking a king from him. He said, ‘These will be the ways of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and appoint them to his chariots and to be his horsemen, and to run before his chariots; and he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plough his ground and to reap his harvest, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers. He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards and give them to his servants. He will take the tenth of your grain and of your vineyards and give it to his officers and to his servants. He will take your menservants and maidservants, and the best of your cattle and your donkeys, and put them to his work. He will take the tenth of your flocks, and you shall be his slaves. And in that day you will cry out because of your king, whom you have chosen for yourselves; but the Lord will not answer you in that day.” But the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel; and they said, “No! But we will have a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” And when Samuel had heard all the words of the people, he repeated them in the ears of the Lord. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Listen to their voice, and make them a king.”
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 89: 16 – 19 (R.) 2a
R/. I will sing forever of your mercies, O Lord
How blessed the people who know your praise,
who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,
who find their joy every day in your name,
who make your justice their joyful acclaim. R/.
For you are the glory of their strength;
by your favour it is that our might is exalted.
Behold, the Lord is our shield;
he is the Holy One of Israel, our king. R/.
Luke 7: 16
A great prophet has risen among us, and God has visited His people.
MARK 2: 1 – 12
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 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.
REFLECTION: The Draw of Jesus
January 14, 2022
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. (Mark 2:1-2)
There were so many people coming to Jesus that there was no room for everyone, not even around the door to the house He was in. This is an interesting situation. On a practical note, why wouldn’t Jesus have noticed this dilemma and done something about it? Why not move out into a larger area where everyone could see and hear Him?
It’s hard to answer that question but there is one thing of which we can be certain. We can be certain that those who came to listen to Him, even if they could not get in, were greatly rewarded for their faith. This passage reveals a very important spiritual principle. It reveals that the spiritual longing to be near Jesus was, in and of itself, transforming.
Often times we will have a similar experience. We may find that we long to hear Jesus speak to us, but we cannot seem to hear Him. It may be that He appears silent to us or that we do not know where to find Him. But do not be disheartened if this is your experience. The fact of the matter is that your desire to be with Him is itself a great gift and has potential to transform your life.
Reflect, today, upon what may be termed “the silence of God.” There may be times in your life when God seems to be distant and is nowhere to be found. When this happens, you should realize that this is a way for God to call you even closer to Himself. It’s a way for God to whisper so as to gain your full attention. If this is a “struggle” that you experience at times, turn your attention to our Lord all the more intensely and allow the desire for Him to grow. It is this desire to be near Jesus that may actually produce much greater fruit in your life than if you were to hear Him loud and clear.
My silent Lord, please increase within me a desire to be near You. Help me to long for You with all my heart. In that longing, help me to shed all that is not of You and to give You my full attention. Jesus, I trust in You.