In the Lectionary

January 28, Epiphany 4B (Mark 1:21-28)

Reading about Jesus in Capernaum, I think about a man I met in Tijuana.

In Tijuana, Mexico, at El Parque del Mapa (the Park of the Map), I approached a man to ask if he wanted a meal. I introduced myself as a pastor. “I killed several people just for fun,” he screamed at me, “and if I want to, I can kill you right now in front of all these people!”

As I think back to this encounter, I feel the shivers in my body again. After what felt like a long pause, I responded like this: “I don’t know why you did all that, but please know that God loves you, and because I have experienced God’s love in my own life, I can tell you that I love you too.”

This made him more upset. He started screaming in despair, “No! No, that is not possible. I am a bad person; no one can love me!”