“It was hard to fool someone who could tell what you were thinking.” ~ Rachel Hartman
“We have never seen anything like this.” These were the final words as captured in today’s Gospel (Mark 2:1-12), uttered by those who had just witnessed Jesus in action for the first time. And the Savior of the World, I should point out, did not play small ball in his debut. Not only does he heal a paralyzed man who was brought to him by a handful of the paralytics’ very faithful and resourceful friends https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Daily-Mass-Reflections-11819, he also forgives them of their sins.
Awarrd-winning author Frank Sonnenberg, a well-known advocate for the promotion of moral character and personal responsibility, is fond of saying “People can’t hear what you don’t say. Thinking isn’t communicating.” I certainly can’t argue with that, but this axiom does not apply to Jesus or our relationship with Him. This too we learn from today’s Passage, for directly on the heels of these miracles, we are told that Jesus “immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves” pertaining to those who heard him forgive the sins of the aforementioned paralytic and his friends and were in turn very disturbed. This was an otherwise blasphemous idea, that anyone other than God alone could forgive sins. Jesus knew that those in his midst would grapple with it.
Jesus can read our minds as well, and perhaps more importantly ~ certainly more importantly to Him ~ He can read our hearts too. This may be unsettling to some; perhaps that’s not a bad thing. Honest introspection in matters pertaining to hard-heartedness and spiritual complacency is after all vital to the cultivation of our spiritual development. It should not and cannot be ignored. Of the latter, noted evangelist A.W. Tozer once said “Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.” Knowing that Jesus can read our minds and hearts should motivate us, keep us honest so to speak.
But as we see in today’s Passage, Jesus does not employ this tactic to accuse us, to punish us, or manipulate and exploit us, as you or I might do if given the same gift from God the Father. He read the hearts and minds of those in today’s Gospel in order to assess and subsequently address their lack of faith and understanding, to make them one with He who is one with the Father (John 10:30). He does this with us, as every moment of every day.
In tomorrow’s 1st Reading (Hebrews 4:12-16) we are reminded that “everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account.” Far too many have lost sight of this reality. Some do not even believe that hell exists, or that the devil is anything more than a crimson red, pitchfork packin’, twist of the jet black goatee fictional character as we touched upon briefly yesterday https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Giving-the-Devil-His-Due-But-Nothing-More, the equivalent of stepping into the boxing ring with the early 90s version of Mike Tyson and not realizing you’re in a fight.
Judgement day will arrive regardless of our readiness or our acceptance of this truth, and unlike every other aspect of our earthly journey, duplicity, scapegoating, or calling in favors will not save us. We cannot blame our co-worker or our spouse and no, the dog ate my homework is not a salvific alibi. But don’t be alarmed by that. For as Paul goes on to say in today’s passage, “We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin.”
Who better to rely on than the perfectly sinless, sympathetic and merciful Savior who loves us enough to be our Heavenly Mind Reader?
“Repent and believe the Gospel.” ~ Mark 1:15
nickrao on January 17, 2021:
Good one! This was a key letter from Paul. You can’t take it with you is the best advice but will they Listen!