In many events, Mark describes how Jesus’ ministry is met with strong opposition particularly from the Jewish authorities who are locked in their narrow-mindedness and legalism. But Jesus cannot be stopped from carrying out his mission for the poor and the underprivileged.
The controversy on Jesus’ actions now shifts to a higher gear. He moves from being a miracle worker to someone who forgives sins. Only God forgives. Jesus demonstrates the power of his words—he can effect the healing of the paralytic and the forgiveness of sins at the same time. Such brazen claim enrages the Pharisees all the more, and they seek an opportune time to stop him permanently. On the other hand, the ordinary folk are astounded at the double display of God’s power. Salvation has finally arrived in Jesus.
The Church continues to exercise the power to forgive sins through the ministry of reconciliation and restore the dignity of men and women, made in the image and likeness of God.
Gospel • MARK 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” — he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.