Memory of Jesus crucified

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Memorial of Saint Anthony the Abbot. He followed the Lord into the Egyptian desert and was father of many monks. A day of reflection on the relationship between Judaism and Christianity

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 2, 1-12

When he returned to Capernaum, some time later word went round that he was in the house;

and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them

when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men,

but as they could not get the man to him through the crowd, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay.

Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'My child, your sins are forgiven.'

Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves,

'How can this man talk like that? He is being blasphemous. Who but God can forgive sins?'

And at once, Jesus, inwardly aware that this is what they were thinking, said to them, 'Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts?

Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, "Your sins are forgiven" or to say, "Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk"?

But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority to forgive sins on earth' --

he said to the paralytic-'I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.'

And the man got up, and at once picked up his stretcher and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astonished and praised God saying, 'We have never seen anything like this.'


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

We continue the reading of the Gospel of Mark. After a few days in which he had gone in the surrounding region to preach the Gospel, Jesus comes back to Capernaum and goes into Peter’s house that has become habitual residence of the small community. And, as usual, many come to knock on that door. The climate of euphoria and celebration that was created wherever Jesus went continues. The soul of the people running to Jesus filled more and more with hope, and on their faces could be seen growing the desire to be well, to have a more peaceful life, a less distressed future. By now, many believed that at last the time had come when it was possible to be happy. There was hope of a cure, even for a paralytic. They were some of his friends who took this paralytic man to Jesus. When they reached the door, they could not enter because of the large crowd. In no way resigned, they climbed onto the roof of the house with the sick man, and they let him down in front of Jesus. The passionate love of these friends is truly amazing. Not only they do not give up when faced with difficulties, as it often happens to us when we give in to the first difficulty we encounter, but they even invent the impossible in order to bring him to the prophet. Passionate love pushes to overcome any obstacle. There is no doubt that the ruse that they can find manifests the power of love for their sick friend, as well as the complete trust they place in Jesus. Their insistence and their love are rewarded far more abundantly than they had anticipated. As soon as he sees the sick man, Jesus heals him in the heart, forgiving his sins, and then he makes him get up from the bed as he heals his body, as well. Yes, the paralytic, like all the poor, needed to be healed in the body, but also in the heart. To paraphrase a Gospel saying, we could say that the poor do not live by bread alone, but also of love and forgiveness. And every time this happens - and it happens when the disciples give their lives to help those suffering - the miracle of full healing repeats. And we, together with the others, once again marvel at the power of the love of the Lord who continues to work miracles in our midst.