Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 80
Read the Gospel: Mark 2:1-12

Gospel Summary
Great faith and forgiveness are at the center of today's gospel reading. A paralyzed man had four friends of deep faith. So great was their faith in Jesus that they lowered their friend on his mat from the roof of the house where Jesus was. In ancient times, people believed that diseases and deformities were caused by either the sins of the person or his/her parents. Forgiveness of those sins would render the person healthy again. Jesus' problem came when he forgave the man his sins. The Jewish leaders considered the action blasphemous because only God could forgive sins. They didn't recognize Jesus' authority as the Son of God.

Reflection for Families
Whether our children are in preschool, grade school, high school or college, we will always hope they make good choices in choosing friends. Today's gospel helps children of all ages recognize the value of true, faithful and believing friends. Even when we consider our own friends and the people with whom we spend our time, we thank God for the people who share our values and faith. We know it's true that people who share faith with us understand the struggles of raising children today and can be there to support us.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Ask each family member to name their good friend(s) and what qualities they especially value in that friend. Next, ask each person to tell whose good friend they are and what values each person has that makes him/her a good friend. Finally, ask each family member to think of one thing they could try to change or improve in themselves that would make them an even better friend.

Discussion Starters
1. My ailments may not be physical like the paralyzed man in this gospel, but I know God healed me when...
2. Forgiveness is an important part of healing. There is someone I can help find healing by forgiving them. My first step will be...
3. One person whose faith is stronger than anyone I know is...