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The healing of a paralytic

Gospel reading: 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. 5When 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.”


This very dramatic scene of healing makes us praise the paralytic’s friends for their determination and creativity in taking risks to bring the man to Jesus. In fact, it is because of their faith and love for their sick friend that Jesus is moved to effect the miraculous cure.

On the other hand, the scribes who are present are quick to charge Jesus with blasphemy for curing the paralytic by forgiving his sins. Instead of appreciating and rejoicing over the cure, they focus on the “grave sin” that for them Jesus has committed. And so Jesus declares to them, though indirectly, that he, the Son of Man, has authority to forgive sins.

There is a place for right doctrine in the Church as we know, and there is need to guard the deposit of faith that we receive and profess. But we must discern and recognize God’s presence and power at work in various ways and in different people. Where we find healing, forgiveness, and love, how can we deny God’s presence?

What blocks us from embracing Jesus in faith?

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