Daily Reflection
January 18th, 2008

Elizabeth Furlong

School of Nursing
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I reflect on the groups of people who “recognized Christ” for who He was – it was the large group of people who had gathered to hear his Word and it was the group of people who brought the individual with paralysis. Both groups of people recognized Christ. We are called to recognize Christ in the other. Do we do that?

We can’t just say – “but, things are different today.” I think it took as much, if not more, faith, imagination, reflection, compassion, and courage for them to recognize Christ than it does for us today. There were, undoubtedly, other people who denigrated them for believing in Christ and listening so eagerly to His Word. There were probably people who denigrated the four men for going to the trouble of seeking care for the individual with paralysis by lowering him into a room through a roof. Just like there are people in January 2008 who may denigrate you and I for seeing Christ in others who some would like to disregard.

I think about the man who was paralyzed, about his family, and, about the four men they engaged to carry him – what faith they demonstrated in Christ! Do you and I have such faith? What might be something in our life today where we could be demonstrating more faith?

I think about the scribes. Today, because we have the 2000 year historical knowledge, I could respond with irritation at their seeming nitpicking rule-oriented behavior. Or, I could be generous in thought, and recognize, given their education and socialization, they were genuinely concerned about keeping the faith as they had been taught. We now know that Christ was showing a new way. They did not have that knowledge.

What created the difference in the people who were open to Christ and those who held on to past beliefs? Why did some people have faith in Christ then? Why did some people hold onto the belief systems they were educated with and socialized into? And, in 2008, which group of people do we belong to? In 2008 there are many parallel factors and phenomena that call us away from a belief and practice of Christ’s teachings. It does not matter what part of the globe we live on – there are social, political, secular, scientific, etc. variables that could result in us having scribe-like behavior. What can we learn from the two groups of people noted above in the first paragraph about having faith in Christ as we enter into the New Year?

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