Let God Help You Lighten Your Load
Do you hold onto grudges? Usually when there's a grudge, there's a great amount of anger as well, hanging over us, bringing us down, wasting so much energy. There may be a reason for holding onto the grudge, perhaps you've been hurt repeatedly, or something that happened struck you hard. However, do we not feel so much better when we let things go? Think about when you're grabbing bags and bags of groceries. You're all by yourself and attempt to carry them from the store, onto the city bus, down the sidewalk, up the elevator, into the apartment and finally set them on the table, one by one relieving the pressure on your shoulders and arms. As you lighten the load, and catch your breath, you start to consider an alternative way that you could do this trip. Going in a cab may let you occasionally put the bags down for a while and get you closer to your destination, yet you still have to carry it all by yourself. You could go on several trips to the store, getting a few things at a time, yet you use so much time and energy on many trips to the store. The best option would be to get your friend, who has a car, to help you get the groceries, drive with you to and from, and help you carry them up.
Today's Gospel states:'And when he returned to Caper'na-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them. And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven." Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?" And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, `Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, `Rise, take up your pallet and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- he said to the paralytic -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home." And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"' (Mark 2:1-12).
Today's reading talks about the importance of seeking forgiveness for our sins. Jesus not only shows us what it means to be forgiving, but what it means to live changed lives, to go out, to start anew, to be fishers of men. When he calls the disciples, they immediately get up and follow him, leaving their previous lives behind. We too have this opportunity, each and every time we sin, to be forgiven. That doesn't mean we go out and live a life of sin purposefully, but through God's grace, we are given the chance to live the best life we can, one of love, and start over. Each of us need to pray and ask God to help you renew our lives through His grace, to seek forgiveness and to be forgiving of those who have hurt us. Take some time to reflect on this quote of St. Faustina: "He who knows how to forgive prepares for himself many graces from God. As often as I look upon the cross, so often will I forgive with all my heart".
Today we pray: