Daily Gospel Reflection for January 12, 2018


Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

Which is easier? To forgive sins or to get up and walk? This is one of my favorite gospels — I always admire Jesus’ diplomatic response to the dramatic antics of the scribes and pharisees. However in this case I also admire the courage — or maybe sheer recklessness — of those 4 friends. I think that’s actually the hardest thing to do in this story: be one of the 4 friends.

I am challenged by considering my own stubbornness. Who in my life would be able to get me out of the house, on a stretcher, into town, up on a roof and through the ceiling to encounter Jesus’ love and healing? Who knows my needs that intimately? Who have I allowed to really get to know me? Who would be willing to risk everything to carry me to Jesus? I encounter the person of Jesus in many ways — but perhaps the most difficult sometimes is through other people and myself.

In each of the synoptic accounts, Jesus uses identical words after He tells the man to pick up his mat and “go home.” Not “go proclaim the gospel.” Not “go get a job.” Go home. An authentic encounter with Jesus never leaves me in the same condition as He finds me. I wonder who or what this man has waiting for him at home. After a lifetime of being unable to contribute to his home — he might have no one left — he might not even have a home to return to. How will his life be different now that he can walk? How well do I communicate welcome, acceptance, and love to people who see me or my faith community as “home”? What reception do people come home to when they come to me?


Who in my life has taken great risk to carry me to Jesus? Who am I being called — perhaps at great personal risk — to carry to Jesus?


Lord Jesus — I know I am supposed to bring people to encounter You. Give me the courage and the great joy in Your friendship to be a herald of the gospel and the grace to be open to both carrying others…and to allow myself to be carried by others…closer to You.

Copyright 2018 Colleen O’Dowd

Colleen O’Dowd is the Director of Faith Formation & Evangelization at Holy Spirit Parish in Stevens Point, WI. She loves being Catholic, her Converse all-stars are always liturgically correct, and she is a super-saint-geek! She blogs ultra-occasionally at ourheartswereburningwithin.wordpress.com and can also be found @catholiccolleen on Twitter and Instagram.

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