A reading from the gospel according to Luke 5:17-26
17 Now it happened that he was teaching one day, and Pharisees and teachers of the Law, who had come from every village in Galilee, from Judaea and from Jerusalem, were sitting there. And the power of the Lord was there so that he should heal.
18 And now some men appeared, bringing on a bed a paralysed man whom they were trying to bring in and lay down in front of him.
19 But as they could find no way of getting the man through the crowd, they went up onto the top of the house and lowered him and his stretcher down through the tiles into the middle of the gathering, in front of Jesus.
20 Seeing their faith he said, ‘My friend, your sins are forgiven you.’
21 The scribes and the Pharisees began to think this over. ‘Who is this man, talking blasphemy? Who but God alone can forgive sins?’
22 But Jesus, aware of their thoughts, made them this reply, ‘What are these thoughts you have in your hearts?
23 Which of these is easier: to say, “Your sins are forgiven you,” or to say, “Get up and walk”?
24 But to prove to you that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ — he said to the paralysed man – ‘I order you: get up, and pick up your stretcher and go home.’
25 And immediately before their very eyes he got up, picked up what he had been lying on and went home praising God.
26 They were all astounded and praised God and were filled with awe, saying, ‘We have seen strange things today.’
Reflection: Teaching, Healing, Forgiving
1. Jesus taught with authority that many people from far flung areas were attracted to Him. Even the Pharisees and teachers of the law were there but these religious leaders were not interested to learn from Him. They were there out of curiosity. They were there to check whether His teachings conform to theirs. They were there to criticize and nothing more. Even in our time, there are people who would criticize us even when we do something good.
2. People brought the paralyzed man to Jesus. It was their faith in the healing power of Jesus that energized them to do so. They were determined enough to destroy a roof so they can achieve their purpose. They were resourceful enough to get what they wanted. Seeing their resourcefulness, their determination, their faith, Jesus granted their wish. It is never lost in the sight of God the help we give to others.
3. What made the man paralyzed? Could it be due to a long-held guilt or shame? The first thing Jesus did was to forgive the man and to make him feel accepted and loved.
4. After he was cured, the man went home praising God. Indeed, God is good all the time. Let us always praise Him for His wondrous deeds in our life.
5. The story of the paralytic man only shows that Jesus is God. He is not just a great teacher, a miracle worker or a man with authority to forgive sins. He is God, period.