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.
Today’s Gospel reading tells the remarkable story of Jesus healing the paralytic. The healing is miraculous and thus, remarkable in itself. But what I find even more remarkable is the faith shown by the paralytic and his friends who were carrying him. Destroying part of the roof to gain access to Jesus – in front of a crowd – suggests that they did not have a sliver of doubt as to whether Jesus was willing and able to heal. Any fear of the possible ridicule from the crowd for such a drastic effort would have prevented them from trying.
Jesuit Father David Fleming wrote:
It’s often said, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” But Ignatius reverses the saying: “When I believe it, I’ll see it”… If we think the world is a bleak place, full of evil… that’s what we will see. If we think [the] world is full of [God’s] goodness [and love], that is what we’ll find. (What is Ignatian Spirituality?)
The paralytic and his friends believed first and subsequently found Jesus’ compassion and power to heal his ill.
Will you today believe in order to see?
–Mr. Nhan Pham teaches in the science department at St. Louis U. High.
Grant me, O Lord, to see everything now with new eyes,
to discern and test the spirits
that help me read the signs of the times,
to relish the things that are yours, and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius.
—Pedro Arrupe, SJ
Please share the Good Word with your friends!