Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith.
Picture Jesus healing the paralyzed man.
The next five stories contain controversies which allow Jesus to make a solemn pronouncement (the high point of each story). This reveals Jesus’ prerogatives. In this story, Jesus proclaims that he has the power to forgive sins.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- The heroes are the four friends who love the paralytic. Against all odds, they make sure that he comes to Jesus.
- Because of their faith, Jesus forgives the man’s sins. (The gospel never mentions the paralytic’s faith.)
- To prove that the sins were really forgiven, Jesus heals the paralyzed man.
- In all of this, the paralytic remains totally passive.
- However, when Jesus tells him to get up, he obeys. He rises and picks up his mat.
- The event confounds the learned critics and delights the simple believers who believe in Jesus’ powers.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Lord, send me friends who believe in you. Let their efforts bring me to you.
- What is it like to come close to you and to see you, face to face?
- Forgive my sins. This is your greatest gift, (which I often do not seek).
- You heal everything – soul, mind, feelings, senses, intellect and will.
- You say, “Arise, take up your mat and walk,” and your power lifts me up.
- Lord, do your work in me and I will be a sign to others. They also will come to believe.
Resolution: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
+ I will choose my friends from those who believe in Jesus.
+ I will seek forgiveness in the Sacrament of Confession.