Scripture: 1st Reading: 1 Sam8:4-7,10-22; Resp. Psalm: Ps88:16-19; Gosp. Accl.: Ep1:17,18; Gospel: Mk 2:1-12
The power to heal. The power to forgive sins. These were two powers the exclusive preserve of God Himself as Creator and Redeemer of His people. The opportunity to be a beneficiary of the deployment of these powers in one's favour is one that any right thinking person will not allow to pass by.
The paralytic and his friends in today's gospel knew what an opportunity was and how to maximally utilize it. They would not be deterred by the physical boundaries imposed by the crowd that occupied the space in front of our Lord. They stripped the roof of the house and lowered the paralytic directly in front of our Lord.
The intentions of these men and the motivation for their action was not lost on our Lord. Our Lord saw in their action the manifestation of great faith in His power to do the needful.
Notwithstanding the objections of the scribes to his pronouncement of forgiveness for the paralytic, our Lord on this occasion healed the body and the soul of this paralytic and completely restored him.
He did this to prove to His critics that the Son of man had authority on earth to forgive sins. Seeing the actions of our Lord and the divine power He displayed, the people praised God and exclaimed that they had never seen anything like it.
In the Old Testament, at various times, God deployed this power in favour of His people. In spite of these, we read in today's first reading that the people went to Samuel to ask for a king. The people wanted to be like the nations around them. They forgot their identity as a people specially chosen by God to be His heritage and possession.
Their demand for a human king was a rejection of Yahweh as their king. Their crave for the protection of a human king was a silent rebuttal of the sovereign protection of Yahweh. Their demand for a king who would lead them and fight their battles for them was an open rejection and ungrateful non acknowledgement of the great battles Yahweh won for them without so much their lifting of a finger. Yahweh told Samuel to obey the voice of the people and give them a king.
The word today challenges us to reflect on our collective disposition to the marvels of God in our lives. How grateful are we to God for all His benefits? What is the quality and depth of our faith in His power?
Let us pray: Lord our God, you sent your Son into the world to manifest the depth of your love and power. Give us grateful hearts to recognize His marvellous interventions in our daily lives. Make us faithful to Him in all our actions. Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.