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Daily Devotional for January 12


January 12                                                           Mark 2:1-12

Today's reading from Mark tells a story of faith, forgiveness,
and healing. The friends of the paralyzed man must have had
a tremendous amount of creative determination along with
faith in your ability to cure, Jesus. They went to all the trouble
of making a hole in the roof in order to let down the paralyzed
man on his bed into the middle of the group in front of you.

Because I deeply believe in your power to heal, I boldly and
confidently ask forgiveness of my many sins. Forgive my pride,
my self-righteousness, my lack of a generous spirit. Forgive,
too, the sins of our society: greed, consumerism, self-interest,
and domination of others under the guise of providing aid.
I too become infected in this environment of societal sin.

When some of the religious leaders heard you forgive this
man's sins, they began to grumble and complain that you had
blasphemed. After all, as teachers of the law, they knew that
forgiveness of sins was one of the marks of the Messiah. You
were claiming that you were the Messiah, the anointed one
of God!

[Sins are, of course, forgiven by the one against whom the sin

was committed. Since all sins are ultimately against Christ he

can forgive them all. L.M.]

I don't have to be a modern teacher of the law or a church
official to know that forgiveness is one of the marks of a
Christian. In order to be sons and daughters of God, we must
make the cornerstone of your teaching - love of one's enemy
and forgiveness of others - evident in our lives. Just as you
proved your power to forgive sins by healing the paralyzed
man, I will know that I am forgiven when I feel the inner
healing of my bitterness and rancor toward those who hurt
me or who disagree with my views and opinions.

Jesus, I believe that you are the Messiah. Heal me of all the
selfishness which keeps me paralyzed on my mat. Help me to
pick it up and go home with forgiveness in my heart. Amen.

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C.

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