Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith.
Imagination: (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.)
When Jesus was at Capernaum, a crowd gathered around the house. Four men arrived, carrying a paralyzed man. Because of the crowd, they could not get him to Jesus. So, they uncovered the roof and lowered the man to Jesus. Seeing how much faith they had, Jesus said, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”
Some thought, “This is blasphemy. Only God can forgive sins.” Jesus asked them, “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’, or ‘arise and walk’? “ So that you may know that I have the power to forgive sins, I say, “Arise, take up your bed and walk.”
He got up, took his bed and went away in the sight of all. The crowd was amazed and said, “We have never seen anything like this.”
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.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
The four men uncovered the roof and lowered the man to Jesus.