Close encounters

The various encounters of Jesus with his followers and critics can serve as a model for understanding the modern-day dynamics of parish and personal faith encounters. Take the example of the curing of the paralytic, who is let down through the roof of the house where Jesus was speaking to his followers in the gospel of Mark, chapter 2.

We have a group of believers gathered around Jesus, expressions of deep faith, a sacramental and healing encounter with Jesus, who heals the man’s ailment and forgives his sins. We have an expression of gratitude and joy among those who participated in the event, and of course we have a group who is complaining. This is a dynamic that we can easily see being played out in our parishes.

We can go further and also see this dynamic playing out in our own life of faith. We are called to gather as a community around Jesus. We experience sacramental and healing encounters with the Lord. We experience that forgiveness, that wonder and gratitude that those early followers felt. Now and then we might even complain to God.

Making these personal connections with gospel stories helps strengthen our connection with our faith community and makes us aware that our story connects with that of those early followers of Jesus. We follow in a long line of people drawn to the person of Christ and to follow his way of life.

“‘But that you may know that the Son of Man has the authority to forgive sins on earth,’ he said to the paralytic, ‘I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.’ He rose picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone.” (Mark 2:10-12)

2 thoughts on “Close encounters

  1. Fr. Ron, this is another stellar collection. I am always partial to your wonderful nature shots. They are so tranquil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely pics! I especially like the lighthouse one! Perfect spirit uplifter!

    Liked by 1 person

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