Update Seventh Sunday Ordinary Time 2012 Mass and Reflections

Scripture Readings for today's Mass are here
Various reflections are here

My post on this from last year is here

It's just less than a week to go before we come to Ash Wednesday (again!) and in the cycle of the liturgical year we are invited to move from where we are and where we may be paralysed to seek out and come face to face with the God revealed in Jesus. 

So we have forty Days to blow a hole through the roof !!

In the first reading today, I reflect on how the people of Israel drew their very identity from their God and yet they failed to live up to their commitment to Him.

Two thousand years on and we don't seem to have come much further, still falling far short of the perfection of the Yes given by Jesus and I am burdened and weighed down by the many ways humanity has wearied God.

But God constantly calls us with a fresh voice to abandon the past.

The second reading is one of reassurance . Each time I respond with, "yes Lord", I might think it would become easier but sadly that is not always the case.

Always Christ challenges me to consider the strength of my own faith and my own need for healing, and forgiveness.

Can I add my own affirmation, my own little yes to the Big Yes spoken by God and Jesus ?

The healing of the paralytic man in the Gospel shows that God’s love changes lives- physically and spiritually. But the perspective in the story is interesting: to the people in the room, it might have felt like the roof was caving in on them but to those outside it was an opening up, a necessary albeit difficult task for them to reach in to get to meet Jesus. 
There was no other option and that too is what I imagine people inside and outside the institutional church might feel today. The challenge is to raise the roof, to lift the lid off the old ways, to relinquish the proprietary rights to ownership that we cling to, and allow the people on the outside in. 

We need to be opened up to some fresh air,to allow the unexpected new encounters waiting with Christ, that can heal us all. Just a thought...

The roof of our churches need to be raised and opened ! 
There should be no impasse to block our way.

The Skylight 
by Seamus Heaney
You were the one for skylights. I opposed
Cutting into the seasoned tongue-and-groove
Of pitch pine. I liked it low and closed,
Its claustrophobic, nest-up-in-the-roof
Effect. I liked the snuff-dry feeling,
The perfect, trunk-lid fit of the old ceiling.
Under there, it was all hutch and hatch.
The blue slates kept the heat like midnight thatch.
But when the slates came off, extravagant
Sky entered and held surprise wide open.
For days I felt like an inhabitant
Of that house where the man sick of the palsy
Was lowered through the roof, had his sins forgiven,
Was healed, took up his bed and walked away.

Church is about bringing ourselves and all of us into the Presence of God, where our hurts can be embraced, our sins can be forgiven, and our brokenness can be healed.
This passage from Mark speaks to the way God changes lives—and to the way God uses us, the church, as infectious change-agents in that process: bringing other people to the God we see revealed in Jesus. 

Sometimes we have a hard time getting up from whatever "bed" we are in and we can stay partially crippled by resentment, regrets or memories of the past.
We  think that the quality and intensity of God’s influence on the world is limited by our past history, including our choices.
So many of us are weighed down by a devastating burden of guilt or the trials of daily life which we carry rightly or wrongly, for years. We can be stifled and hindered from being all that God intended us to be, imprisoned in a paralysis that only Jesus can free us from.

Jesus didn't carry the healed man's bed for him, but rather commanded him to take up his own bed--and walk! With the command came the strength to obey, and the Gospel today shows clearly the strength that God provides.

Time for Gospel music.

Willie Neal Johnson and The New Gospel Keynotes 

 You Gotta Move.  

Yep-  When The Lord Get Ready, You Got To Move..

This guy certainly knows how to get people to do that..... 

Wonderfully infectious and energising.

Sister Rosetta Sharpe Up Above My Head 


 I believe in a God of abundant life who calls me to pay attention to the beauty of  relationship . I believe in God who calls me and empowers me to experience the promises and highest possibilities for renewal.

So yes, Lord , I'm ready to get moving for Lent.

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