Friday Breakfast with the Word 1st Week Ordinary Time

Kingsley Okoro
January 12 2024

Breakfast with the Word: Friday First Week Ordinary Time of the Year  

Mark 2:1-12

  Despite the Obstacles

Have you actually faced serious obstacles before? Or have you encountered a stumbling block that truly stopped you from achieving your dreams?

Life can often throw many unexpected challenges in our path, making progress seem impossible.

 In today's gospel we encounter a powerful story that teaches us an important lesson about overcoming obstacles and trusting in God's power and love.

  Obstacle and the Four Determined Friends

In today's gospel, a paralyzed man is carried by four determined friends to Jesus for healing. 

When they arrive, they encounter a crowded house, which hindered their access to Jesus. 

Imagine how happy they were before when they heard that Jesus is around and how frustrated they might be when they faced a seemingly obstacle. But that didn't stop them.

Many of us would have given up at this point, discouraged by the seemingly insurmountable obstacle before them. 
Some of us, at this point would start speaking against God, talking how bad their life has been and how God has abandoned them for long.

But these friends refuse to be deterred. They embark on a different path.
 They brought in creativity, perseverance, team work and unwavering faith.
They infact revealed to us that applying these four weapons can destroy any obstacle.

1.Their creative and innovative solution is to climb onto the roof, create an opening, and lower the paralyzed man right in front of Jesus.

 This act of determination and ingenuity is a powerful reminder that when we encounter obstacles in our lives, we must not shy away or give up.
 Instead, we should look for alternative ways to overcome them, fueled by our unwavering faith in God's providence. 

In the Bible, there are countless individuals who faced obstacles but ultimately triumphed through their faith and reliance on God. 

1. In the book of Genesis, we find the story of Joseph, who encountered numerous setbacks throughout his life, including being sold into slavery by his own brothers.

 However, Joseph never wavered in his trust in God. Despite the many obstacles he faced, he eventually rose to a position of great prominence and power, fulfilling God's purpose for his life.

 2. One of the most inspiring figures in the Bible who overcame immense obstacles is the apostle Paul.

 In his letters, he recounts the numerous hardships, persecutions, and imprisonments he endured for the sake of spreading the Gospel.

 Yet, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable challenges, he remained steadfast in his faith, proclaiming, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13).

 Obstacles are Not Actually Meant to Defeat Us  

Today's gospel reminds us that obstacles in life are not actually meant to defeat us but to strengthen our resolve and deepen our faith.

When they encountered the crowd, they rather sought for opportunities instead of allowing the obstacle to swallow them.

So, that obstacle that is stopping you today also has inherent possibilities.
They provide opportunities for us to grow, to rely on God's wisdom and guidance, and to witness His miraculous work in our lives.

Let us not be discouraged by the challenges we encounter but rather embrace them as opportunities for God to work in and through us. Despite the obstacles that stand in our way, let us press on with faith, knowing that with God's help, all things are possible.

  Obstacles Should Not Stop You

In our journey through life, we are bound to encounter obstacles that may seem insurmountable at times.It may make you shed tears. It may tempt you to lose faith. 

However, the story of the paralyzed man in Mark 2:1-12 reminds us that these obstacles should not deter us. Obstacle would have stopped them but rather it fueled their determination and resolution to rise above the challenge.

Even the presence of the scribes, who were sitting there, talking against Jesus with skepticism and doubt, did not deter Jesus from showing compassion and healing the paralyzed man.

This provides us with a powerful lesson that even the opinions and judgments of others should not hinder us from pursuing what is right and good.

We must remain steadfast, knowing that our purpose and calling are not defined by the opinions of others. 

When we face challenges, it is essential to cultivate an unwavering faith that looks beyond the immediate obstacles and believes in the limitless power of God. 

Just as Jesus saw the faith of the friends who brought the paralyzed man to Him, He also sees the faith within each one of us.

No matter how impossible the situation may appear, we must trust that God's love and power transcend any obstacle we may face.

  What Obstacles Does. 

Obstacles are not there to stop you. Obstacles often present an opportunity for growth and transformation. They test our resolve, push us beyond our comfort zones, and illuminate the strength and resilience we possess within. 

Just as the friends of the paralyzed man demonstrated creativity and perseverance by going through the roof, we too must adopt a mindset that seeks innovative solutions to overcome the obstacles in our lives.

Moses overcame his initial reluctance and led the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  David faced the giant Goliath with unwavering confidence in God's power. Esther risked her life to save her people, despite the obstacles in her way. 

These stories highlight the tremendous strength and courage that lie within us when we trust in God's guidance. Let us remember that obstacles should not be viewed as roadblocks but as opportunities for God to work in our lives.

No obstacle should have the power to stop us from pursuing our dreams, seeking healing, or embracing our calling. 

Like the scribes, even the skeptics and naysayers cannot hinder the power of faith and healing that lies within us. With God's guiding hand, we can overcome any obstacle that stands in our way 

 Faith paves the Way.

In life's journey, obstacles may seem insurmountable. But remember, faith is the key that unlocks their power.

What fueled the determination of the four friends today is nothing if not their faith in the healing power of Jesus Christ.

Faith is the key that paves the Way. You have to believe in what you do, how you do it and where you are going to. We have to trust in God's guidance, believe our inner strength, and we shall witness these obstacles become stepping stones.

Embrace faith, and you will soar above any challenge. In the gospel, the faith of the people played a pivotal role in surmounting obstacles today. The unwavering faith of the four today, led them to think outside the box. 

They demonstrated dedication, creativity, and above all, their unshakeable belief in Jesus' ability to heal.

We can do the same. Faith can enable us to see beyond obstacles and find innovative solutions. It encourages us to trust in a power greater than ourselves and take bold steps, even when the path seems blocked.

In our own lives, faith can give us the strength to overcome difficult circumstances. 

It can empower us to remain resilient, persevere against all odds, and embrace transformative change.

 With faith and the grace of God as our guiding light, no obstacle will be insurmountable.

May God bless you dearest and give you peace of mind always. You shall always overcome. Amen.

  Fr. Sanctus Mario Okechukwu Ugwoegbu