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Reality of God in the Flesh

First Reading: Hebrews 4:1-5, 11

Let us be on our guard
while the promise of entering into his rest remains,
that none of you seem to have failed.
For in fact we have received the Good News just as our ancestors did.
But the word that they heard did not profit them,
for they were not united in faith with those who listened.
For we who believed enter into that rest,
just as he has said:

As I swore in my wrath,
“They shall not enter into my rest,”

and yet his works were accomplished
at the foundation of the world.
For he has spoken somewhere about the seventh day in this manner,
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works;
and again, in the previously mentioned place,
They shall not enter into my rest.

Therefore, let us strive to enter into that rest,
so that no one may fall after the same example of disobedience.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 78:3 AND 4BC, 6C-7, 8

R. (see 7b) Do not forget the works of the Lord!
What we have heard and know,
and what our fathers have declared to us,
we will declare to the generation to come
The glorious deeds of the LORD and his strength.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
That they too may rise and declare to their sons
that they should put their hope in God,
And not forget the deeds of God
but keep his commands.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!
And not be like their fathers,
a generation wayward and rebellious,
A generation that kept not its heart steadfast
nor its spirit faithful toward God.
R. Do not forget the works of the Lord!

Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

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.
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.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”
–he said to the paralytic,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

NAB

I am a little embarrassed to admit it, but I can’t help but think of that poor homeowner’s roof. Can you image letting someone have a meeting at your home, maybe a little time for worship or a special talk, and there are so many people that show up you can’t fit them all in the door? So then they start coming in through the roof? Didn’t they realize how many people would come? Couldn’t they have found a bigger home? I know homes were built differently back then, but seriously? My roof?

When I put myself in this Gospel I am distracted, in the presence of the reality of God in the flesh, in my home, performing an amazing miracle. This isn’t just any meeting. It isn’t just any talk. It is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Messiah in the flesh who is in my home, speaking truth and beauty and goodness. And I am worried about the roof. It’s not about the roof.

How often in our daily life do we miss God in action around us because we are worried about the roof? How often do we mistake our suffering as pain rather than as purification? How often do we miss the miracles around us because we are focused on the minutiae? In good times and bad, God is working miracles all around us. All we need to do is look up, and look past the roof, to Him. And I would bet that our carpenter Savior did not overlook the hole in His hosts’ roof and see to its repairs before He left. He does not miss a thing.

Try to live your day open to God in action around you. Devote today as a day of witness, and at the end of the day call to mind all the ways you witnessed God’s glory around you. Allow yourself to be wowed by God today.

MaryRuth Hackett is a full-time wife and mother doing her best to teach her four children to love God and country. You can find out more about her here

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