Memory of Jesus crucified

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Feast of the Black Christ of Esquipulas in Guatemala, venerated throughout all of Central America.


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 several days in which he had gone to various villages in the surrounding region to preach the Gospel, Jesus returns to Capernaum and goes again to Peter's house. The inhabitants of the city and the region around Capernaum thought that with Jesus a new time, of peace and health, had come. Even a paralytic felt that his healing was not only an impossible dream. Some of his friends - hoping in his healing - took him to Jesus. When they reached the door, they could not enter because of the large crowd. In no way discouraged, they climbed onto the roof of the house with their paralytic friend, pulled back the roof, and let him down into the room where Jesus was. The love, perseverance and creativity of these friends for that sick man is truly amazing. Not only did they not give up when faced with difficulties, as often happens to us when we give up at the first sign of difficulty, but they even invent the impossible just to help him. The insistent love of these four friends for their paralytic friend and the faith they place in the healing power of Jesus are the two pillars that usher us into the miracle that is about to happen. Jesus heals him in a manner greater than anyone could have expected. Jesus grants the paralytic the full joy of the Kingdom, the healing of the body and of the heart. The evangelist notes the opposition of the scribes to Jesus' mercy. Jesus, by then was aware fi this opposition and as soon as he sees the paralytic he manifests the power of the new kingdom: not only does he make him get up from his mat, but also forgives his sins. The paralytic man was healed completely. Just like all of us, the paralytic man, too, needed to be healed in his heart and not just in his body. In sum, we all need to look at Jesus. That paralytic became, if we can say so, citizen of the new kingdom. We all, sinners, sick and poor are called to convert to the Gospel.