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The healing of a paralytic

Gospel Reading: Lk 5:17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence. But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.” Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? 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 said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”

REFLECTION
HE SAW THEIR FAITH
Jesus heals the paralytic because he sees and acknowledges the faith of the four men carrying the disabled man.

Because of them, Jesus performs the miracle. (Some commentators point out that the paralytic has faith, too, for allowing the four to bring him to Jesus.) We need to have an active faith when praying before God. We have to show it concretely, like the four men who give their all to bring the paralytic to Jesus. When they cannot get close because of the crowd, they go up on the roof and lower him in front of Jesus. Their determination and imagination express their faith. Because of this, Jesus immediately shifts his attention to the healing of the paralytic. He declares something totally unexpected: “Your sins are forgiven.” This revealing statement says that Jesus is not just a volunteer preacher of Galilee; he is God-sent. Luke presents Jesus as a prophet fulfilling his mission of preaching, healing, and forgiving. As divine, Jesus brings the paralytic healing of both body and soul. The man stands up, picks up his mat, and goes home praising God.

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Do you believe that God can show his love to us, sick and poor sinners?

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SOURCE: “366 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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