To what lengths are you willing to help your friend in need? This curious episode in the ministry of Jesus astonishes us with the persistence and creativity that the friends of the paralytic are willing to go through in order to help him. They risk ridicule and ire for their deed, but nothing is too risky to stop them from helping their friend. In fact, it is the faith of these men that Jesus takes notice, and not of the paralytic man. Their effort does not go in vain; the paralytic is awarded not only with physical healing, but spiritual as well, when his sins are forgiven. There are times when faith shines brightly, and those times are the darkest hours.
Gospel • MARK 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”— he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.