Friday, January 12, 2018 Week 1 in Ordinary Time
1Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22; Psalm 89; Mark 2:1-12
Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Mark 2:7
Our other friends can do a lot for us, but not as much as Jesus. If we do something wrong, our friends
can forgive us; even accept us. But they cannot actually take away our sins. They cannot make us acceptable if we are not.
Jesus can. He is the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). Not just forgives: “takes away.”
Ezekiel’s promise (36:25) was a prophecy; it wasn’t realized until Jesus made possible new birth in the waters of Baptism: “I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses.”
In Baptism we mystically (that is, more truly than literally) die with Jesus on the cross, are buried with him, and rise up out of the waters of Baptism a “new creation,” with no past history of sin (Romans 5:3; 2Corinthians 5:17). And every time we sin after Baptism and repent, that mystery is renewed. Our sins are taken away.
Christ loved the Church [us, whom Scripture calls his “bride”] and gave himself up for her, in order to make her holy by cleansing her with the washing of water by the word…. so that she may be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25).
Friendship is interaction. Interact with Jesus and he will take away your blemishes.
ACTION: Surrender totally to Jesus, “strive to be without blemish” (2Peter 3:14).
PRAYER: “Lord, be with me. Let me be with you.”