Sunday 21 June 2020

Seventh Week of Ordinary Time – Year A

Word of the day
The Gospel of Mark 2:1-12

Space

To be truthful, it was not in front of the door of that house that there was no more room. The crowd  had gathered there to see Jesus, to touch him, to talk with him, to listen to the Word pronounced by him, to be healed from every sickness and evil. The absence of room was not at the door of that house, it was not due to the crowd or to the pushing. Absence of space, apprehension, scarcity, narrowness, deficiency, tight spots are never outside but inside of us.  It is our way of thinking that is limited, stingy with possibilities,  strangled in opportunities. It is inside of us that there is no vital space, it is inside of our mind, in the circuits of our way of thinking and reasoning that there is no fullness, space, opening vision. The prejudice is inside, the tight spot is inside. The shrieks and racket against every novelty and beauty of the Spirit never come from without but from within man's heart. It is not at the doors of that house that there is no room to approach Jesus, it is inside the brain and the heart of man that there is no space, there is no mental, adapt spiritual opening. To meet Jesus, to see him, to listen to his word, to gain access to the power of his healing force  we must make holes in the fabric and in the knitwear of our mentality, of our system of channeling our thoughts conditioned by our upbringing and training. To meet Jesus we must courageously puncture the bark of our certainties and mental scaffolds, to make a hole in our habits, a gash in the protective roof of our prejudices, a hole in the beams of the ceiling of our way of seeing and conceiving things. And that is what the four friends of the paralytic did. They did not use thought and prejudice creating a situation in which everyone who gathered at the door was unable to get in. They did not use the others' strategy, what has always been done, what everyone does. They used the force of autonomous thought, of logic dictated by reality, by reasoning based on need and truth. They opened up the roof to meet Jesus. Here is a sublime example of what the Christian community, the community of faithful in Christ, is for. Its role is that of being united and strong, present and organized to overcome everywhere the prejudices of history, educational habits, senseless human traditions, moral hypocrisy of opportunism and of political and economic interests in the name of the Gospel and of Jesus' saving power. This is what the force of the Christian community, a force that no single person no matter how faithful and loving can even begin to dream of having, is for. The presence of the church in the world has in this way a meaning and an inescapable value in achieving real, social, cultural, and spiritual wellbeing. The autonomous thought of the church is rooted in the word of Jesus and is nourished by the force of reality, of what is and not what it should be. The four friends who lowed their friend's mat are a powerful, immediate image of the church, of the christian community which opens spaces and does not close them, which sees beyond and organizes itself accordingly, which is not afraid of what history and people will say, which does not retire to make laws in council rooms, but removes the constructions of history, of philosophies, of acquired mechanisms of slavery and of political and economic  schemes in which people live as slaves paralyzed and without space.
It takes off the roof of our constructions and of mental thought processes and frees space, all the space possible because the people, the children of God, can meet Jesus, the real Jesus, the Teacher of truth and of life in all of his beauty and power. That is what the church of God is for: to carry out a sublime and indispensable task. That is what the church of God is for on earth, to continuously update the people with regard to truth and to open spaces of confidentiality with God. What can, in fact, make the scribes to think that he is blaspheming if not the total absence of mental and spiritual space? What can make a heart so small minded and obstinate to consider that Jesus is blaspheming at the very time he liberates the paralytic from his total paralysis? The absence of space is within, inside our soul, inside our heart. Men and women are anguished and limited outside because there is no space inside. Refugees or tourists, we are always in line, anguished and limited in the face of any trip, because the thoughts within us are in line. The lack of space begins in the heart and finishes in the street. Jesus knows this all and that is why before and together with the liberation of the body he gives space to the paralytic by liberating the spirit by forgiving sins. It is an evil thing that takes away space from the soul, from the mind, from joy, from relations, from the legs, from the course of life. Jesus says rise to the paralytic. Rise from your mat, break loose from the prison and chains where you have locked up your heart and your soul out of fear and resentment. Rise and go. If you have space within you, now you can have it outside as well. You can have all the space that you want in the world and in life, and no longer just in the cage of your mat, of your mental crystallizations, your resentments, of your fears, of your phobias and tensions. More than being a prison for your legs, the mat is the prison and the paraylsis of your brain and of your mind, of your way of loving and of understanding life. Rise and go. There's room.