And after getting into a boat he crossed the sea and came to his own town. And just then some people were carrying a paralyzed man lying on a bed. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” Then some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, perceiving their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’?
But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he then said to the paralytic—’stand up, take your bed and go to your home.” And he stood up and went to his home. When the crowds saw it, they were filled with awe, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to human beings.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
In today’s gospel we read an example of both faith and forgiveness. The people of the town fully believe Jesus will heal the paralyzed man. But, rather than Jesus first healing the man’s paralysis, Jesus forgives his sins. Jesus heals the man’s soul before healing his body.
Today’s gospel reminds us that healing internally should be our priority. When we seek forgiveness for our sins, we begin to cultivate a place for Jesus to dwell and grow within us. In seeking forgiveness we can imitate the faith of the town’s people and truly believe that Jesus will and does forgive. We must have faith in Jesus’ healing mercy.
Is there someone I need to forgive today? Is there some family situation which I need to heal?
—Samantha Grady is currently completing her Masters in Theology degree at Loyola University Chicago.
God is forgiveness,
Dare to forgive and
God will be with you.
God is forgiveness,
Love and do not fear.