WEEK TWO OF ADVENT – MONDAY – DECEMBER 6, 2021 – FORGIVING SINS (LK 5:17-26)

Prayer:

Come, Holy Spirit. Give me friends with great faith

Imagination:

Picture Jesus healing the paralyzed man. 

Context:

These stories in Mark’s gospel are controversy stories. Each dispute allows Jesus to make some pronouncement. In this story, Jesus says that he is the Son of Man with divine authority.

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 the Son of Man has authority on earth 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 of this story are the four friends who love the paralytic. 
  • Against all odds, they do everything to bring him to Jesus. 
  • Because of their faith, Jesus forgives the man’s sins. 
  • Jesus then heals the paralyzed man to prove that he could forgive sins. 
  • As yet, the paralytic has done nothing. 
  • However, when Jesus tells him to get up, he shows great faith. He arises and picks up his mat. 
  • The event confounds the learned critics and delights the simple believers. They believe even more in Jesus’ powers. 

Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)

  • Lord, send me friends who believe in you. 
  • I will respond to their efforts to bring me to you. 
  • O Jesus, I want my sins to be forgiven. This is your greatest gift (which I often do not seek). 
  • Jesus, you have all power and authority in heaven and on earth. 
  • You heal everything – soul, mind, feelings, senses, intellect and will. 
  • Speak to me, Jesus. Tell me to rise from my sins. 
  • Lord, I will be a sign to others so they also 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 let their faith bless me. 

Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.) 

Four men uncovered the roof and lowered the man to Jesus, who said, “Your sins are forgiven.”