Catholic Men’s Daily Devotional and Bible Study – 1st Week in Ordinary Time – Friday – Mark 2:1-12
Following an early mission of preaching and healing in Galilee, Christ returns to Capernaum and stays in home of Simon Peter. Because of His miraculous healing of the leper and many others, a crowd of people converge on Simon’s house, making it very difficult to draw close to Jesus.
Surrounded by a large crowd in a home, some men lower a paralyzed man on a bed through the roof to Jesus, hoping for a miraculous physical healing. Seeing their faith, Jesus stuns the crowd by first focusing on the paralyzed man’s spiritual ills by forgiving his sins; this prefigures the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Scribes, teachers of the law, unaware that Jesus is God, silently condemn Him of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death; the Old Covenant dictated that sins could only be forgiven through the sacrificial system of the Temple.
Able to read men’s hearts and minds, Jesus bluntly rebukes the Pharisees and teachers for their evil thoughts. To prove He indeed has the authority to forgive sins, Jesus publicly proclaims to be the Son of Man (the long awaited Messiah) and miraculously heals the paralytic, who rises, picks up his bed and goes home. Shocked into holy fear by the strange and wonderful supernatural event, the crowds spontaneously glorify God and marvel that Jesus has been given authority by God to forgive sins and miraculously cure the incurable.
Awed by Jesus Christ – Son of Man, Jesus boldly and courageously proclaims His identity and forgives sins, knowing He will be accused of blasphemy and eventually be killed. Divine Priest, Jesus lays the foundation for the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Divine Physician, Jesus has the knowledge and power to know the inner thoughts of men and to miraculously heal devastating illness. Divine King, Jesus publicly rebukes the evil and erroneous thoughts of the well-educated scribes.
Being a Heroic Catholic Man
1) Despite trillions of dollars spent on modern medical technology, it is unusual for the paralyzed to be healed. Reread today’s Gospel, imaging that you are present when Christ miraculously heals the paralytic. Be awed.
2) Today, sin is ignored, explained away or even celebrated with pride. Realize the Christ first forgives sin and then heals the paralytic. Reacquaint yourself with the Sacrament of Penance and Reconciliation (CCC 1420-1498), confront your current sins and go to Confession to be forgiven by Christ.
3) The paralyzed man’s friends had great faith and took action, bringing the paralyzed man to Christ and Christ responded. Review your responsibility as a Catholic man to evangelize (CCC 904-907), particularly children (CCC 2225). Pray for Christ to give you the grace to imitate the paralyzed man’s friends, drawing many people to Him.
Spiritual Practices – Include in Today’s Prayers
Sacred Mystery of Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries
Daily Devotion – The Passion and Death of our Lord Jesus Christ
Virtue of the Day – Faith
Corporal Work of Mercy – To visit the sick
Spiritual Work of Mercy – To forgive all injuries