Gospel: Lk 5:17-26
One day, Jesus was teaching, and many Pharisees and teachers of the law had come from every part of Galilee and Judea, and even from Jerusalem. They were sitting there, while the power of the Lord was at work to heal the sick. Then some men brought a paralyzed man who lay on his mat. They tried to enter the house to place him before Jesus, but they couldn‘t find a way through the crowd. So they went up on the roof, and, removing the tiles, they lowered him on his mat into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the man, “My friend, your sins are forgiven.“ At once the teachers of the law and the Pharisees began to wonder, “This man insults God! Who can forgive sins, but God alone?“
But Jesus knew their thoughts and asked them, “Why are you reacting like this? Which is easier to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven‘ or ‘Get up and walk‘? Now you shall know, that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.“ And Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Get up, take your mat and go home.“ At once, the man stood before them. He took up the mat he had been lying on, and went home praising God.
Amazement seized the people and they praised God. They were filled with a holy fear, and said, “What wonderful things we have seen today!“
“Amazement seized the people and they praised God.“ “What wonderful things we have seen today.“ When we witness something usual, we are amazed, we praise God, we tell others of the wonderful things we have seen. Same expressions were uttered by the people, who witnessed the wonders Jesus showed when He healed the paralyzed man.
What were they wondering? They were amazed and wondered at the paralyzed man‘s faith. Nothing stopped them not to bring the man to Jesus. They were so determined. Even Jesus wondered: “when Jesus saw their faith, He said to the man, “My friend your sins are forgiven.“ They wondered how the man was forgiven and how he got up, took his mat, walked and went home praising God.
The wonderful event brings to recall and to learn a lesson that people can be saved through the instrumentality of others: parents, friends, officemates, classmates, etc. St. Monica converted her most sinful and immoral son through her tears and prayers, now a great pillar of the Church, St. Augustine. Many of us can recall the persons who brought us to church, to the sacraments, encouraged and advised us, saved us. Every time, I see lay people who are so committed to their ministry, couple who are so faithful to each other, I wondered. My commitment and fidelity to my priestly life and vows are strengthened. Let us pray and be grateful to people who brought us to God.