June 30, 2016

Gospel MT 9:1-8
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
Reflection:
In Jesus’ time, it was a common belief among the Jews that sickness and disease were the consequence of the sins of the afflicted person.
I think it is true that our sins weigh us down and keep us from rising to the goodness and wholeness that God intends for us.
Many times I have invited (tried to carry) a friend to church or to a retreat and their response has been, “No way! If I walked into a church the roof would cave in.”
People have also told me they believe their troubles and difficulties are a result of “God punishing me for my sins.”
“After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.”
With faith that Jesus could make him whole, the friends of the paralytic carried him on a stretcher to the Lord.
“When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
Before healing the paralytic’s body, Jesus had to first heal his mind and heart.
The paralytic also had to have “faith” in the forgiveness of his sins before he could accept the healing of his body.
Do we have the “faith” to believe that our sins are forgiven? Once forgiven, don’t we too feel whole again?
“…….he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
Do we have enough faith in Jesus to tell our friends, “Your sins are forgiven”, so they too may “rise”?

“Blame and guilt keep wounds open. Forgiveness has the power to heal.” – –
Unknown