Our site uses cookies to improve the user experience and we recommend accepting its use to take full advantage of the navigation

Contemplating today's Gospel

Today's Gospel + homily (in 300 words)

Friday 1st in Ordinary Time

1st Reading (1Sam 8:4-7.10-22a): All the elders of Israel came in a body to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, «Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us». Samuel was displeased when they asked for a king to judge them. He prayed to the Lord, however, who said in answer: «Grant the people’s every request. It is not you they reject, they are rejecting me as their king».

Samuel delivered the message of the Lord in full to those who were asking him for a king. He told them: «The rights of the king who will rule you will be as follows: He will take your sons and assign them to his chariots and horses, and they will run before his chariot. He will also appoint from among them his commanders of groups of a thousand and of a hundred soldiers. He will set them to do his plowing and his harvesting, and to make his implements of war and the equipment of his chariots. He will use your daughters as ointment makers, as cooks, and as bakers. He will take the best of your fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his officials. He will tithe your crops and your vineyards, and give the revenue to his eunuchs and his slaves. He will take your male and female servants, as well as your best oxen and your asses, and use them to do his work. He will tithe your flocks and you yourselves will become his slaves. When this takes place, you will complain against the king whom you have chosen, but on that day the Lord will not answer you».

The people, however, refused to listen to Samuel’s warning and said, «Not so! There must be a king over us. We too must be like other nations, with a king to rule us and to lead us in warfare and fight our battles». When Samuel had listened to all the people had to say, he repeated it to the Lord, who then said to him, «Grant their request and appoint a king to rule them».
Responsorial Psalm: 88
R/. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
Blessed the people who know the joyful shout; in the light of your countenance, o Lord, they walk. At your name they rejoice all the day, and through your justice they are exalted.

For you are the splendor of their strength, and by your favor our horn is exalted. For to the Lord belongs our shield, and to the Holy One of Israel, our King.
Versicle before the Gospel (Lk 7:16): Alleluia. A great prophet has arisen in our midst and God has visited his people. Alleluia.
Gospel text (Mk 2,1-12): Jesus returned to Capernaum. As the news spread that he was at home, so many people gathered that there was no longer room even outside the door.

While Jesus was preaching the Word to them, some people brought a paralyzed man to him. The four men who carried him couldn't get near Jesus because of the crowd, so they opened the roof above the room where Jesus was and, through the hole, lowered the man on his mat. When Jesus saw the faith of these people, he said to the paralytic, «My son, your sins are forgiven».

Now, some teachers of the Law who were sitting there wondered within themselves, «How can he speak like this insulting God? Who can forgive sins except God?».

At once Jesus knew through his spirit what they were thinking and asked, «Why do you wonder? Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man: ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or to say: ‘Rise, take up your mat and walk?’ But now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins». And he said to the paralytic, «Stand up, take up your mat and go home».

The man rose and, in the sight of all those people, he took up his mat and went out. All of them were astonished and praised God saying, «We have never seen anything like this!».

«‘My son, your sins are forgiven’ (...). ‘Stand up, take up your mat and go home’»

Fr. Joan Carles MONTSERRAT i Pulido (Cerdanyola del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, we see the Lord surrounded once more by crowds: «so many people gathered that there was no longer room even outside the door» (Mk 2:2). His heart is melted by people's needs and makes him to bestow upon them as much relief as possible; by forgiving, teaching and healing them at the same time. He certainly offers them physical help (as in today's parable, by curing the paralytic), but —actually— He is intent on getting the very best for each one of us: the well-being of our soul.

Jesus, our Savior, wants to give us a true hope of salvation. He even forgives our sins and sympathizes with our moral feebleness. Before anything else, He most emphatically says: «My son, your sins are forgiven» (Mk 2:5). Later on, we are given to see him connecting the remission of our sins —which He generously and tirelessly grants— to a most extraordinary miracle, seen by our very eyes. As some kind of external guarantee, as if to help us to open our eyes to faith, after forgiving the paralytic's sins, He cures him of his paralysis: «Stand up, take up your mat and go home. The man rose and, in the sight of all those people, he took up his mat and went out» (Mk 2:11-12).

We can revive this miracle quite often through Confession. With the words of forgiveness said by the minister of God («I absolve you from your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit») Jesus —discreetly— accords us once more the external guarantee of remission of our sins, guarantee that is tantamount to the spectacular cure of the paralytic of Capernaum.

We are now beginning a new ordinary time. And, we believers are now reminded of the urgent need we have of a sincere and personal encounter with Jesus Christ, the All-Merciful Lord. In this liturgical time, He urges us not to slacken our pace nor to neglect the necessary forgiveness He offers all of us in his dwelling, the Church.

The new evangeli.net website is now available. We hope that the distribution of the content and the new features will facilitate the reading and meditation of the Gospel and its commentary.