Hebrews 4:1-5,11; Psalm 78; Mark 2:1-12
1st Week in Ordinary time
When Jesus saw their faith . . . (Mark 2:5)
Wherever Jesus went, a crowd formed. Whether it was in the middle of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, or on quiet provincial roads, people just seemed to gravitate toward him. Jews, Samaritans, and even Gentiles forgot their differences just to be near Jesus and hear him speak. The importance of national, racial, and religious divisions paled before their longing for hope and the promise of peace and forgiveness that Jesus offered.
We are not unlike those crowds. As believers in Christ, we all want to follow and glorify the Lord. We all want to know the touch of the One who came into this world so that we could be reconciled with God and begin to experience eternal life, right now. Today, as we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we should pray as one vast crowd that all national, racial, and religious differences will fade as we seek the love and life that Jesus wants to pour out on us.
Just as it’s true that Jesus came to heal each of us individually and to restore each of us individually to his Father, it is also true that he has done the same thing for the entire body of Christ. Together we form one body, and God wants it whole. He wants to heal our collective wounds and fortify our combined weaknesses. He wants to see us working together—just as the four men in today’s Gospel worked together to bring their friend to Jesus. He wants us to work together so that we can bring his kingdom to this earth.
As Christians, we may disagree on many things, but we all know that Jesus does not want his people divided. On our own, maybe we can’t figure out exactly what kind of healing his body needs, but that shouldn’t stop us. As we pray this week, let’s implore the Lord to make us one body. Let’s pray earnestly for peace and reconciliation among Christians of all cultures, races, and denominations. Let’s seek it with all our heart, and open ourselves to the guidance of the Holy Spirit. God is faithful, and nothing is impossible for him!
“Father, you created us to be one—one with you and one with each other. Fill me with your Holy Spirit, and use me, starting today, to heal and unite your broken body.”~WAU