Today is Friday the 17th of January, in the First Week of Ordinary Time.

The Community of Taizé sing Misericordias Domini:  ‘I will sing forever of the mercy of God.’ 

Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.

At the time of Jesus it was generally thought that sickness or disability was a punishment from God for sin.  So, they would have thought, the paralytic in this scene, or his parents, must have sinned.   How do you feel about this attitude to misfortune?

Spend a moment considering whether there are groups of people today whose sickness, or misfortune or poverty you tend to think of as ‘their own fault’.  Perhaps you find yourself thinking this about the unemployed, or immigrants or AIDS victims…

As the passage is read again, notice how Jesus breaks the link between sin and misfortune, speaking of them separately, dealing with them separately, forgiving the man’s sins before he heals him…

Speak to Jesus for a few moments now.  What about those groups of people you were thinking of before, whom you might have blamed for their own misfortune.  How does he see them?   Can you ask for the grace to see the sick, or unfortunate, in the same light as Christ himself does?