User Settings

  • Background
  • Fade speed
  • Music
  • Text size
Choose a backgound theme.
Choose the speed the daily prayer fades between stages.
Choose music to play during the daily prayer.
Choose the size of the text for your daily prayer.

Mark 2:1-12

The Word of God

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, "Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Stand up and take your mat and walk'? But so 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, stand up, take your mat and go to your home." And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"

Mark 2:1-12
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • A dramatic story! You could become involved in it by identifying with the paralyzed man, one of his friends, or one of those gathered around Jesus. Where you place yourself will affect how you experience the unfolding of events. Allow yourself to be surprised!
    • What might have been a simple healing turns into a tense theological confrontation. It is Jesus who instigates this by forgiving the paralytic’s sins (which he wasn’t asked to do). The scribes who are present consider this to be blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins. Jesus then uses his power to heal the body as a sign that he has authority to heal the soul also. Mark is already signalling the charge on which the Jewish authorities will later seek the death penalty for Jesus – blasphemy.
    • Note - the paralytic is dependent on his friends to bring him to Jesus. It is their faith that Jesus acknowledges and responds to. The paralytic himself never utters a word throughout.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • One of the most life-giving things Jesus is doing in Gospel texts like today’s is forgiving our sins. In doing this he is encouraging us not just to forgive others but first of all to forgive ourselves. If we do, so we learn to live at peace with the reality that we are limited human beings and make mistakes, or are sometimes neglectful in the way we relate.
    • Bring to Jesus some failure from the past that you find it hard to forgive yourself for. In the light of today’s scripture reading listen to Jesus’ desire to forgive you and also his desire that you would forgive yourself. If you find this capacity of Jesus to forgive attractive tell him so.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • I too sometimes feel paralysed by fears or by lack of energy. And I come before Jesus, not disguising my helplessness. I allow the strength of Jesus to take over.
    • Jesus also puts my neediness in proportion; he wants me to see that his support is not just for me – but it is there for the whole world.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • Lord, I have felt paralysed at times, without the courage to act because of some failure or criticism that took the heart out of me. Then I relied on the help of good friends, like the four stretcher-bearers, to bring me to the point where I could hear you say: Get up and walk. Suddenly, as W.H.Auden put it, I was able to approach the future as a friend, without a wardrobe of excuses.
    • Faith opens a door to a living relationship with God in Jesus. Faith was the door opening to the forgiveness of sins, and then to the cure of the sick man. The faith of all helped the sick man - he was healed by ‘their' faith. Our faithful time of prayer may help people we know or do not know. All Christian prayer reaches out to many.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

    Active
    Default
    • You looked up, Lord, and saw a stretcher being lowered through the roof. Four men had carried the cripple up the outside staircase, removed the thatching, mud and some wooden beams that formed the roof, and lowered their friend carefully in front of you. What did those four feel when you told him – affectionately, calling him /Child/ – that his sins were forgiven? This was too easy to say. Was it for this, they wondered, that they had taken such pains?
    • Did you read some hidden anguish in him that hurt more than the paralysis? You restored his peace of soul. Then, with perhaps a smile at the scribes, you bade him pick up his stretcher and walk. Cheers from the rooftop. Lord, I sometimes don’t notice the paralysis within me. Teach me to walk tall.
    • At this point, early on in his ministry, Jesus makes a huge and important claim for himself - that he is God. In claiming that he can forgive sins, he is putting himself equal with God. His action of healing lets them know he is the Son of Man. This statement would haunt him for the next few years as the religious leaders made their plans to have him killed for making himself equal with God. In our prayer with Jesus we are meeting God. The divine enters our lives in a special way when we allow the word and the action of Jesus Christ into our lives. In him, God is near. God is not just a vague presence, but the one who forgives, heals guilt, strengthens weakness. In prayer maybe you can bring now into the presence of Jesus what is mean, sinful or just the dark side of life which tries to use or control others and know that the words of forgiveness and healing and light are spoken to you.
    • In the moments of the forgiveness of our sins, we are close to the Divinity. Jesus was challenged on his identity when he forgave sins. People said, 'Only God can do this.' The miracle that followed gave credibility to the forgiveness of the paralysed man's sins.
    • In sacrament and in prayer, God comes nearer to us than ever when our sins are forgiven. Maybe when we forgive each other's we are closest in our lives to the heart of God.
    • The man who was paralysed had to rely utterly on his friends to bring him to Jesus in the imaginative way they chose. I think of the trust he must have had in them and consider the trust I have in those close to me.
    • Despite the evident need of the man brought for healing, Jesus first told him of forgiveness. I listen to Jesus speak to me, forgiving my sins.