Deacon Stu Dobson’s Homily – 1-14-22
1st Friday in Ordinary Time, Year 2
1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a; Ps 89:16-19; Mk 2:1-12
Be careful what you ask for. We have all heard that before. And it does not seem improbable that Samuel would have said that to the people of Israel. We want a King! They said, and Samuel, being faithful to God, asks God what to do. God says go ahead and give them a King, to which Samuel responds to the people, in so many words, be careful what you ask for. The people did not care and demanded a King, so Samuel appointed them a King. If we read further into the book of Samuel, we know it does not go very well. But they asked and got what they deserved.
The four men bringing the paralytic to Jesus, asks Jesus to heal the poor man. But, as the saying goes, they got way more than what they asked for. Jesus heals the paralytic, but He also looked into the man’s soul and saw so much more that needed to be healed. “Your sins are forgiven” Jesus says, and the man is made new. The faith of the men bringing the paralytic is very much like what we do when we bring our children to be baptized. Our faith compels us to bring our children to become one with God through Baptism. We ask for Baptism, but we get so much more. Our children are made new in Christ by the infusing of the Holy Spirit in them. Something so profound and beautiful, yet impossible to see. Much like the scribes who could not see Jesus saving of the man’s soul.
The scribes were shocked. They could not believe Jesus had the ability to forgive, because, after all, only God could forgive sins. Pick up your mat and go home, Jesus says, so the scribes and the people could see who Jesus truly was. Through this act of forgiving the man’s sins, and then healing him, Jesus divulges who He is in two ways. The first by absolving the paralytic of his sins, and the other by exposing the scribe’s disapproval of who Jesus really is. So be careful of what you ask for, you may just get what you want, but you also may get something else you did not expect. Let’s hope it is what the paralytic received, not only the physical healing we can see, but also what we cannot see, the healing of our soul.