Daily Gospel Reflection for January 17, 2014

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Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

This is a passage we may have learned in Vacation Bible School as a child.  The miracle of the paralyzed man.  We may have been taught that this man’s friends are the kind of friends we are to be, a friend that takes others to Jesus.  What a great lesson for our children to learn!  They have the ability to take others to Jesus and share Him and HIs love by how they act with others.

As adults, what lesson might we learn?  Blessed John Paul II taught in his Theology of the Body a philosophy that he learned from Saint Edith Stein, also known as St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.  This philosophy is called Phenomenology. 

Phenomenology basically has us look into the heart of another to determine what has brought them to this point in life.  We might see a person covered in tattoos and piercings with a purple mohawk and come to a conclusion about this person that may or may not be correct.  The Holy Father taught that we should do just as Jesus did in this passage, look inside and see what the foundation of the issue is.  We are all made in His image and likeness and therefore have equal dignity as sons and daughters in Christ. 

Christ, and everyone else, could see that this man was obviously physically paralyzed, but when He looked into the heart of the crippled man, He saw that he was also spiritually crippled because of sin.  Maybe this is why Jesus chose to heal him from the inside out.  This healing could bring him eternal happiness and not just earthly happiness as a walking man.  

This philosophy is one that can be used with our own children.  Is the reason they are throwing a fit in the middle of the store because, as other customers may think, the child is spoiled and needs to be disciplined?  Or is it because he is hungry, tired, not feeling well, etc?  

Are the bad grades my child is receiving in school because she just doesn’t know how to behave?  Or is it because she is having an argument with her best friend that she could use some adult help handling?  Or is she overwhelmed because this class is too difficult and she has not shared with you her frustration? 

Does my child never tell me what is going on in his life?  Is it because I never ask or appear to care?  

Christ takes us to the heart of the matter with this man’s paralyses, showing us that we too should look deeper into the heart of another, rather than just what seems to be obvious on the surface.

Ponder:

When I see someone dressed or acting in a way that I do not approve, do I stop and wonder why they dress and act this way or do I just disapprove?  When my child misbehaves, do I try to get to the core of the misbehavior rather than just attempting to change the behavior?

Pray:

Lord, please give me a gentle, caring heart for others as you have.  Help me to really see the person and not just the appearance.  Amen.

Copyright 2014 Diane Schwind

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About Author

Diane Schwind is the wife of Robert and the mother of four grown children and two grandchildren on the way. They live in a small town in north Texas. Robert and Diane have a marriage and family apostolate, Balanced Families Ministries. Through this ministry they speak at seminars and conferences and offer one and two night marriage retreats sharing the teaching of the Catholic faith on marriage and family with an emphasis on Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. Diane can be reached at http://www.balancedfamiliesministries.com/ as well as their Facebook page for the apostolate, Balanced Families Ministries.

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for the reminder to get to the heart of the problem when my young children are misbehaving. Chances usually are that they are throwing a temper tantrum because of some other underlying problem rather than the problem at hand. This is a good reminder to get down to their level, meet them where they are, and fix what needs healing most–just like Jesus did for the paralytic. Thank you for your reflection!

  2. I had to laugh, I thought of this parable this week while writing my 7QT post. Sometimes you just can’t make it to Jesus on your own, you need help just getting there. Thank you for your practical advice about being those friends!

  3. Soooo important to read between the lines and never take anything at face value. Jesus had that “third eye” and He gives it to us to use as well. Thanks for this!

  4. Do I take others to Jesus? Great new question to use in first grade…who am I kidding…it’s a great question for me too! Beautiful work Diane?

  5. As a fellow TOB lover, I enjoyed your reflection very much Diane! Thank you for the reminder (needed almost daily!) to be more intimate with others…people want to be SEEN for who they are…for their internal beauty. I once heard intimacy as “in-to-me-see”!

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