The good news for the day January 13, 2017

Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (309)

When Jesus came back around to Capernaum, people found out that hewas home. A crowd gathered—there wasn’t any room—not even around the door. He was preaching. Some people tried to bring in a man lying paralyzed on a stretcher four men carried. Unable to get to Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up tiles on the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the pallet on which the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him, “Young One, your sins are forgiven.” Now, some of the smarter people sitting there were asking among themselves, “Why does this man talk like this? He is blaspheming! Who but God alone can actually forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they had in their minds. He said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’? Or to say, ‘Get up! Pick up your bed and walk’? Now—just so that you may know that This Child of the Human Race has authority to forgive sins on earth“–Jesus turned to the paralytic, “I say to you, ‘get up! Pick up your mat, and go home.’” The man got up, picked up his stretcher right then, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astonished and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.(Mark 2)

Jesus seems here to show off—to “prove” to doubters His power to heal—as proof of his Divinity, as well as His power to forgive sins. Scholars and preachers point out that the ancient world often—usually—saw illness as punishment for some sin, and Jesus seems to be working this angle.

But reflect on your world: When you forgive someone—you do heal a wound, cure a wrong, and fix a disturbance in the peace of the world. The evangelist is not recounting so much a Proof of Divinity, as an Example of Grace. Spectators—smart, educated—superior—people—miss this fundamental insight—forgiveness is what you and I do to one another to make living in God’s world truly better. Not temporary, not until you die—but permanently different. Forgiveness makes the difference in Living Life


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