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The healing of a paralytic

Gospel Reading: Mk 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.”

For Jesus, the efforts of the four men to bring the paralytic to him express their faith that he could heal their friend. They have to open up the roof of the house, break through it, and let down the mat on which the paralytic is lying. Faith in this case is expressed not in words but in action. The scribes are questioning in their hearts Jesus’ authority to forgive sins, because for them God alone can forgive sins.

Their unbelief is expressed in their murmurings in their hearts, yet Jesus immediately knows them in his mind. The words and deeds of Jesus are reason enough to believe in him, yet the scribes do not accept him because of their preconceived ideas. The four men carrying the paralytic and the scribes thus represent two attitudes, belief and unbelief respectively. Our own biases can cripple our faith in the Lord.

Cite concrete ways by which you give witness to your faith in the Lord before unbelievers.

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SOURCE: “365 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.