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7th Sunday of Ordinary Time – Cycle B

February 19th, 2012

 

Your Sins Are Forgiven!

 

 

Reading 1
Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25

Thus says the LORD:
Remember not the events of the past,
the things of long ago consider not;
see, I am doing something new!
Now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
In the desert I make a way,
in the wasteland, rivers.
The people I formed for myself,
that they might announce my praise.
Yet you did not call upon me, O Jacob,
for you grew weary of me, O Israel.
You burdened me with your sins,
and wearied me with your crimes.
It is I, I, who wipe out,
for my own sake, your offenses;
your sins I remember no more.

 

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 41:2-3, 4-5, 13-14

R. (5b) Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.
Blessed is the one who has regard for the lowly and the poor;
in the day of misfortune the LORD will deliver him.
The LORD will keep and preserve him;
and make him blessed on earth,
and not give him over to the will of his enemies.
R.
Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.
The LORD will help him on his sickbed,
he will take away all his ailment when he is ill.
Once I said, "O LORD, have pity on me;
heal me, though I have sinned against you."
R.
Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.
But because of my integrity you sustain me
and let me stand before you forever.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel,
from all eternity. Amen. Amen.
R.
Lord, heal my soul, for I have sinned against you.

 

Reading II
2 Cor 1:18-22

Brothers and sisters:
As God is faithful,
our word to you is not "yes" and "no."
For the Son of God, Jesus Christ,
who was proclaimed to you by us, Silvanus and Timothy and me,
was not "yes" and "no," but "yes" has been in him.
For however many are the promises of God, their Yes is in him;
therefore, the Amen from us also goes through him to God for glory.
But the one who gives us security with you in Christ
and who anointed us is God;
he has also put his seal upon us
and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.

 

Gospel
Mk 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 the paralytic,
"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."

 

Homily/Sermon

 

 

“. . .Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk?”

 

 

I wonder what all the preachers across our country will be telling their congregations this weekend in their worship services?  Considering the demise that so many of our brothers and sisters, our fellow citizens, are having to deal with right now, entrenched in an almost impossible fixable economic situation?  I wonder if they are going to address those issues?  It might be a safe bet to say that at least some will be taking about the contraceptive mandate issue that has come to light, or should I say, a mandate to do away with our freedom of religion?  Isn’t that what it really is:  to demean Christianity in this country, ever so scrupulously, bit by bit, a little at a time, to take away our freedom to worship God as we want to.  

 

I don’t know about you all, but I’m getting frustrated, sick and tired of this government administration and I’m not leaving out the Republicans, sick and tired of treating us citizens like we are brainless and can’t figure out what is going on.  I may not like to admit what is going on;  I may not want to deal with it;  I may not want believe it; and I may be very scared as to what it is eventually going to lead to, a complete Socialist takeover of this country.  Because of all of what they are doing to bring us down, I nonetheless feel a bit angry and upset with them all.  And right now, I could care less if they knew how I feel or think.  I could care less about anyone coming after to me to silence my voice.  If that has to be, then it has to be.  And folks, you should be as well.  And if you aren’t then, please don’t complain if it doesn’t get any better.  But we need to channel our feelings into something positive.  We need to remember that this is God's world and that God knows what is going on, and we need to pray more than ever, for the sake of our grandchildren and their children.  We cannot allow ourselves to go to their level.  The one thing that evil cannot deal with is LOVE, and  that love should be our motivation to pray, to endure, but not give in, to still make our voices heard while we still have that opportunity. 

 

Are we not like the paralytic in the gospel reading today, groping so hard to find a miracle that will ease their burdens and calm their weary minds?  Are we all not really like that child that Jesus talked to?  We admit that we are a sinful people, that we are a broken people; that we are dependent on God’s forgiveness for the sins we have committed against each other, which for the most part, are sins that have to do with relationships in our lives.

 

I wonder if those preachers are telling their congregations that before they can expect any kind of relief;  that perhaps before their prayers can be answered, that they just might get an answer like the paralytic got:  “Your sins are forgive.”

 

I wonder if our government leaders would want to hear that answer as well, assuming they are as Christian folks, as we might like for them to be.  But then, if . . . as so many are saying, that our economic meltdown is really an affect of the moral breakdown in our country, then shouldn’t the need for sinfulness to be forgiven be exactly what is the order of this day?

 

Do we hear from these not so well meaning politicians about being sorry for the mess they have gotten us in?  Do they even see the sin in the many things that they are doing to bring that so called “Change” to our country.  You know, change like in killing innocent children before they are born; change like wanting to fund a organizations to assists in those killings like Planned Parenthood, whose members don’t seem to have any kind of a moral conscience at all; change brought about that does not help us but hinders and hurts us, the citizens of this country, whose taxes pay for the wrong doings that they want and seem to be forcing upon us.

 

Is it possible that we are in this situation because sin has interfered with God’s plan for us as a people, or to put it rather bluntly, that because God has been eliminated from the plan?  What kind of a miracle can anyone expect when we, as a country, have turned our backs on the only One who have ever held this country together and had placed us in the palm of His hand, our God?

 

Innocent people, well maybe not completely innocent for we are all but sinners, but at least folks who have tried to put God first in their lives and have tried to earn a decent living and provide for their families, are now begging to our Lord for some help.  Yet, that is the reality or will become the reality of millions of people in our country, and I do mean millions, because SIN interfered with God’s plan for us.  And the sad part is:  SIN is not going away.  The SIN that makes laws that contradict the laws that Jesus gave us, the SIN which is greed and power and money and selfishness, of course not pointing fingers at any one person, for not all are so inclined to bow before it’s evil claws.

 

Those congregations of people are looking for some answers from those preachers, for something that will help them to stay alive, for some hope of a miracle, of some promise of a better tomorrow.  It hurts to loose your job, because a lot of folks are affected by the lost of just one job.  It hurts to loose your home because you can no longer afford the payments because you lost the job that earned you the money to do so, and some greedy people, past or present, took that from you.  It hurts to hear your children ask, “Where if the next meal coming from momma or daddy.”

 

Could it be that the miracle will come when we all take our mats and lower them down through a roof and hear the words from our Lord, seeing the faith that is put in him,  “Child, your sins are forgiven!?”  Then just perhaps, in His time He will say:" I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."  We cannot just pick up our mats and go home unless we intend to put this teaching of Jesus into action.  Yes, he is telling us that our sins are forgiven, but perhaps even more than that, that we too must say those words to our persecutors, knowing how difficult that might be, "Your sins are forgiven,"  However though, those who are taking our freedoms away must know that they must admit their sinfulness, seek forgiveness, and then to make things right, We may not be able to bring about justice even by our votes come November, but God doesn't vote.  In the end, He is one who imposes the consequences. 

 

God bless you all and please keep praying because for those who believe, we may be persecuted for our beliefs, but when our final judgment day comes, it will be too late for some to ask for forgiveness, and God will not disappoint those who have been faithful to His Word.

 

 

© Deacon Steve A Politte

February 19th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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