Daily Gospel Reflection for January 16, 2017


Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:18-22

We could call this passage and the verses before and after it “The Gotcha Gospel” because they recount several attempts by people to snag Jesus on a technicality. The sense is that they’re overeager to catch Him in a hypocritical action.

“Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” “Why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” “Why do the disciples of John and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” If you’re ever discouraged because you cannot please everybody, re-read these verses. If even Jesus can’t please ’em all, you will not either.

Following Jesus, then and now, requires ongoing conversion, a continual turning toward Christ and away from whatever impedes our progress. We need to grow in sanctity, often leaving behind habits, sins, prejudices, and old ways of doing things as we become new in Christ. Attempting to integrate the new into the old can prove disastrous. It is better to start afresh.


Are you hanging on to pet sins that are keeping you from true conversion?


Jesus, help me to see past my pettiness and to abandon all those things which keep me from growing closer to You.


Copyright 2017 Carolyn Astfalk

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About Author

Carolyn Astfalk is a wife, mother of four young children, and a writer. Her contemporary inspirational romances Stay With Me, Ornamental Graces, and Rightfully Ours are available at Amazon.com. She blogs at My Scribbler’s Heart. Visit carolynastfalk.com.


  1. Thank you Carolyn for a powerful new phrase to take to prayer…”pet sins”! YIKES…I certainly never thought of that before and the power for me in those two little words is that the word pet makes me think of affection and attention which are voluntary and deliberate. It’s much easier to blame sin on circumstance or others or simply human weakness but to call it pet means I choose. Holy cow…the difference is powerful and I’ve got some serious praying to do and the next time I head to Reconciliation (which will be soon) I take a whole new line of preparation and acknowledgement. Blessings on your day and thank you for a powerful ponder this morning!

  2. It’s difficult to leave behind what keeps me from conversion because I am so comfortable. Even though I know the pain is temporary and the reward greater, I still hold on to the “pet sins” . Yes, that struck me just as it did Sheri. I’ll be thinking this today. Thank you.

  3. Thank you for putting that reading into perspective for me. I couldn’t wrap my mind around why it was important until I read your thoughts. And Sheri Wohlfert, thank you for taking it one step further. You both opened my eyes this morning.

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