Intention: That all people will work together selflessly to bring peace and safety to those places that are being torn by war and battered by violence.
Today’s Gospel | Mark 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
From the Tenth Meditation for the Time of Retreat | Saint John Baptist de La Salle
Saint Paul, speaking to the Philippians after teaching them different maxims, adds, Act according to the same maxims, and so be imitators of me. Look to those who live according to the example that I have given you. Do the things I have taught you, what I have said to you, what I have written to you, and of which I have given you the example. So, the ardent zeal of this great saint for the salvation of souls was to have them observe what he practiced.
This is also the way that our Lord acted, of whom it is said that he began to do and then to teach. Speaking to his Apostles after he had washed their feet, he says, I have given you an example, so that you may do as I have done to you.
It is easy to conclude from these examples that your zeal for the children who are under your guidance would be very imperfect if you exercised it only by instructing them. It will only become perfect if you practice what you are teaching them. Example makes a much greater impression on the mind and the heart than words, especially for children, for they do not yet have a mind sufficiently able to reflect, and they ordinarily model themselves on the example of their teachers. They are led more readily to do what they see done for them than what they hear told to them, above all when the teachers’ words are not in harmony with the teachers’ actions.
Eternal Father, many times we give ourselves credit for knowing things that we do not and refuse to listen to you, especially when you come to us in ways that we do not accept. We pray today that you help our poor faith. Teach us to recognize your saving presence through the noise of our lives. Make of us cooperators with your compassion and justice as we love and serve one another without hesitation or doubt. Lead us to whom and where you want us to be for the sake of your Kingdom. We ask this of you who lives and reigns with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.