1 Samuel 8:4-7, 10-22; Mark 2:1-12

Visions Vs. Seeing

What do we want?  What do we need?  What do we vision for ourselves?  What do we see in what is given to us daily?

In today’s first reading, the people come to Samuel with this request:  “Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”

Samuel’s patient explanation to the people of what this new leadership (king) would be… ‘…your sons will fight in war; your resources (time effort, energy, and goods) will serve the wants of the king;…he will tithe your flocks and you will become his slaves.  You will complain, but God will not hear you,” goes unheeded by the people.

For what do we hope, expect, ask?  Do our visions/expectations for ourselves so cloud our perceptions that we are unable to see/hear what is really being offered to us…God’s wisdom within us? 

What are the costs/responsibilities connected to what we seek/vision: prosperity…riches…professional advances…, peace, goodwill, joy, love…?  All have consequences…all are more than what is seen.  Are we ready to take on full responsibility?

In today’s gospel, friends bring a paralyzed man to Jesus (for a cure? to hear Jesus?).  But Jesus tells him his sins are forgiven.   It is not the paralytic who objects, but rather the murmuring of the scribes (What right does Jesus have to tell anyone that their sins are forgiven?).  To demonstrate his authority as God’s son, Jesus cures the paralyzed man who then picks up his mat and walks out.  All are awestruck.

Are we ready to see God’s presence/work among us, in our daily lives, or would we rather tell God how to make our lives better, more efficient and workable for us?

As we meet today, and the todays that follow in this new year…do we give God thanks for what the day is and brings or do we step back, and stage whisper to God, “Nice, but what I really think should be happening is….”?

Do we really see what is given to us today by God, by one another, by ourselves…; reflect on it and its meaning and cherish it, or are we looking (visioning) for a better deal (and in the course of events, miss the very presence that is before us in the NOW?).

How do I look to God, see God, listen to God, open to God  (or do I insist on my own vision(s) and miss the sight, sounds, and presence of God within -and in everyone else around me? 

By Cathy Weiss Pedersen

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