When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,“Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”
At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.”
And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
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.
Imagine being at a party, looking up, and seeing a man is being lowered through the roof. How would you react?
You could react one of two ways. First, you could react as the scribes do, by saying: “Is this right?” “Who does this man think he is?” They have a contemptuous response for what they are witnessing. Or you could react as Jesus did.
Too often I am like the doubting scribes, asking myself: “Is my faith okay?” or “Am I praying the right way?”
And too often I am not like Jesus. Jesus sees (not hears) the man’s faith and immediately reassures him of his forgiveness and grace.
Today I will strive to be more like Jesus.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
—Excerpt from a prayer by Thomas Merton
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