Your Sins Are Forgiven
Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
My dear encountered couples:
The paralytic could not move. He needed someone to help him. Is that not the same as it is with sinners? No sinner can help himself. No one in sin can save himself. And that is why the Son of God came among us to cure us of the paralysis caused to our souls by our sins. Jesus demonstrates that quite cleanly when he cures the paralytic in our gospel story today.
The Jews at the time of Jesus believed that illnesses, handicaps, anything evil that afflicted people was the result of not only the sin of Adam and Eve, but caused by personal sins. Their belief was that this man was paralyzed by sins of his own or by sins of his parents. And, of course, everyone there knew that only God could forgive sins. That is why they said, “The man blasphemes,” when Jesus said, “Have courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”
In this short story of the paralytic Jesus proves he is our God and savior. “Why do you harbor evil thoughts?” he asked the scribes. “Which is less trouble to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? To help you realize the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins - he then said to the paralyzed man - ‘Stand up! Roll up your mat, and go home.’ And the man did just that. You can be sure all the people there got the message.
Since Jesus had the power to cure what they believed to be the effects of sin - the illness - then he also had the power to cure the cause of the illness — the sins. Either Jesus was God or, at the least, empowered by God to forgive sins. Those who say Jesus was only a teacher of good morals - I would say they have missed the point.
Let us never doubt who it is we have come here to church to adore today. It is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only one capable of curing what really ails us.