One Minute Reflection – 17 January – Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time, Year A – Readings: 1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22, Psalm 89:16-19, Mark 2:1-12 and the Memorial of Blessed Teresio Olivelli (1916–1945) Martyr “Rebel for Love”
“My son, your sins are forgiven.” … Mark 2:5
REFLECTION – “Why are you downcast? See. Someone’s hands are fishy; a little oil makes them clean. How much more can God’s compassion purify you. For just as you have no difficulty in washing your garment, in the same way – and even more – it is not difficult for the Lord to wash you clean from all reproach, even if each day you naturally have to experience temptation. Indeed, the instant you say: “I have sinned against the Lord”, the response is given you: “Your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). “It is I who wipe out and remember no more” (Is 43:25 LXX). As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your sins. As a father has compassion on his children, I have had compassion on you” (Ps 102, 12-13 LXX).
Only do not keep away, or distance yourself, from He who has chosen you to sing and pray but all your life long, remain close to Him, either through pure confidence, or by a holy audacity and courageous confession. Then He will hear and purify you. Is He not God who has justified us in His love for human souls? Who will condemn us? (cf. Rm 8:33). If we invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, our conscience is easily purified and nothing separates us from the prophets and other saints.
For God has not destined us for wrath but to gain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ who died for us. So, whether we are awake in virtue, or asleep in some kind of woe, or are bearing certain circumstances according to nature, we will live with Christ (1 Thes 5:9-10), turning our eyes towards Him, sighing deeply, weeping constantly and only breathing Him. Let us then put on the breastplate of faith and wear the helmet of salvation (cf. 1 Thes 5:8) that the arrows of discouragement and despair may not penetrate us.” … John of Karpathos (7th Century) Monk and Bishop – Texts for the monks in India (The Philokalia)
PRAYER – Lord God, You hold out the light of Your Word to those who do not know You. Strengthen in our hearts, the faith You have given us, so that no trials may quench the fire Your Spirit has kindled within us. Grant us the grace of approaching You in sorrow and repentance, so that we may hear Your Word, “your sins are forgiven you, go and sin no more.” May the prayers of Blessed Teresio Olivelli, grants us eyes to see and ears to hear and strength to approach You. Through Christ, our Lord, with the Holy Spirit, God now and forever, amen.