Good News for the Day, January 12, 2018
Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time (309)

When Jesus came back home after some days to Capernaum, word got out that he was at home. Many people gathered together so that there wasn’t any room for them-not even around the door; he preached the word to them. Some people came to him bringing a paralyzed man who was being carried by four men. Because of the crowd, they couldn’t get near Jesus, they, therefore, opened the roof over him. Once they broke through, they lowered the stretcher where the paralyzed man was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.” Some learned men sitting there asked themselves, “Why does this man talk this way? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins except God alone?” In his mind Jesus knew right away what they were thinking, so he said, “Why are you mulling such things in your hearts? What difference is there—is it any easier to say to someone paralyzed, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ than to say, Get up, pick your stretcher up and walk’? But—just so that you may know This Human Child has authority to forgive sins on earth” –Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I am telling you, get up, pick your stretcher up, and go home.” The man got up, picked his stretcher up right away, and went away in front of everyone. Everybody was amazed and thanked God:” We have never seen anything like this.” (Mark 2)

When the crowds press around, it is because Jesus offers them some profound thing. It is not food nor jobs, not psychological counseling nor financial advice—and the point here is that it is the “son of man,” someone perceived as human! This person can and does forgive sins.

Consider that in their world, a “sin” covered a multitude of flaws—mistakes, illness, bad habits, pride, greed, lust—anything wrong in the order of the world. Let us appreciate that we do things “wrong,”—harassment, arrogant words or tones of voice, indifference to truth, nursing anger or revenge, being cowards and deliberately ignorant—these are “sins” you and I would rather not see—but need healing forgiveness. The Good News is that even such (hidden) sins can be forgiven, rinsed. You can offer this miracle; you can heal wounds and heartbreak; you can even fix failures in yourself!

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