Are We Grateful To God For What We Have?

Friday of Week 1 in Ordinary Time - Cycle II

1 Sam. 8:4-7; 10-22 & Mk 2:1-12

Throughout history people have tended to be never satisfied with their circumstances. Are we always looking for something better to turn up, and to be like those who seem to be better off in life than ourselves?

The lsraelites in today's first reading were dissatisfied that, unlike some other nations, they did not have a king. They thought a king would unify them in their struggles against their enemies, especially the Philistines. Samuel strongly disagreed with them, warning that a king would usurp their rights, take over their possessions and oblige them to be at his service. And he had an even stronger objection: he saw a monarchy in Israel as a contradiction. God alone was King in Israel, and He should not be abandoned in favour of a human king with all his foibles and weaknesses.

But the people would not listen to Samuel. They were persistent in their demands and so God allowed them to have a human king, but on the understanding that he was to be a viceroy, a representative of God.

The paralysed man in today's Gospel came away from Jesus with far more than he expected. He must have rejoiced at the fact he could walk again – and that all his sins had been forgiven. This means that he must have been truly sorry, for all the sins he had committed to that point in his life, or he would not have received forgiveness from Jesus.

Let us remember that we too share his joy every time we go to confession and, with a firm resolve to live better lives, are truly sorry for our sins.

Lord Jesus, may we always remember that we have no king but You, and that You are always ready to forgive our sins when we are truly sorry.