Thursday, January 17, 2019
FRIDAY, 1st Week in Ordinary Time
January 18, 2019 – FRIDAY, 1st Week in Ordinary Time
Heb 4: 1 – 5, 11 / Mk 2: 1 – 12
Gospel Reading: Mk 2: 1 – 12
After some days Jesus returned to Capernaum. As the news spread that he was at home, so many people gathered that there was no longer room even outside the door. While Jesus was preaching the Word to them, some people brought a paralyzed man to him.
The four men who carried him couldn't get near Jesus because of the crowd, so they opened the roof above the room where Jesus was and, through the hole, lowered the man on his mat. When Jesus saw the faith of these people, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven"
Now, some teachers of the Law who were sitting there wondered within themselves, "How can he speak like this insulting God? Who can forgive sins except God?"
At once Jesus knew through his spirit what they were thinking and asked, "Why do you wonder? Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man: 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say: 'Rise, take up your mat and walk?' But now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins."
And he said to the paralytic, "Stand up, take up your mat and go home." The man rose and, in the sight of all those people, he took up his mat and went out. All were astonished and praised God saying, "We have never seen anything like this!"
The most advanced medicine today cannot instantly cure any illness. It takes time and effort of the physician, the cooperation of the patient and the working of any medicine or procedure to achieve a cure. Yet in today's Gospel, the cure of the paralytic was done instantly, at the word of Jesus. Nobody can cure instantly, except God. The teachers of the Law were correct in thinking that only God can forgive sins.
Sin and forgiveness, while real, are not concrete tangible realities. Thus, when, because of the faith of the paralytic and of those who brought him, Jesus forgave the sins of the paralytic, the teachers of the Law saw him as one committing blasphemy, doing or pretending to do what only God could do.
Did the teachers of the Law believe that Jesus was indeed God when he cured the paralytic by his instant word, "but now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,"?
In the Church, Christ has given us the Sacrament of Reconciliation where, through the action of a priest, God forgives sins. We thank God for his merciful love for us and for his never ending readiness and graciousness to forgive us.
FINALLY, WE PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE ASKED OUR PRAYERS AND FOR THOSE WHO NEED OUR PRAYERS THE MOST.
Have a good day!
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