When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven. ”Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,“ Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk’?
But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” —he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
There are many things to be learned from this Gospel passage, but one of my favorites is the importance of supporting each other in our faith. It is the faith of the friends of the paralytic that moved Jesus to act. When we pray for others, or ask others to pray for us, we are helping or enlisting help in the same way as the people in this story. There have been times in my life when I haven’t been able or known how to pray for what I needed. Or I didn’t know just what it was that I really needed. At these times others have prayed for me and have supported my faith with theirs. And I have returned the favor when others have asked me to pray for them. This is just one of the many beautiful aspects of being connected to a larger community of faith. Who needs your prayers today?
—Mandy Dillon is a Retreat Coordinator at Bellarmine Jesuit Retreat House in Barrington, IL.
Lord Jesus, today we pray for all those who have asked for our prayers, and for those for whom we have promised to pray. We thank you for the gift of others to pray for us and for the gift of our faith. Amen.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!