In the Catholic cycle of readings, today’s Gospel (Luke 5: 17-26) recounted the story known as “The Healing of the Paralytic”. It’s a misleading and inappropriate name. Why? Because it takes the focus from the primary miracle (forgiveness of sins) and puts it on the less extraordinary.
Before the paralytic was told to “Rise, pick up your mat, and walk,” Christ saw the faith of his friends, and this led him to say, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”
It’s no coincidence. The Lord puts first things first. Yet confession is so available to us today, we’ve lost sight of its truly miraculous nature. It is a gift more magnificent than the ability to walk!
The first time I read the passage, I thought Christ was forgiving the paralytic’s sins, and not those of the friends. What an interesting thing to consider, though–that Christ would forgive the sins of one because of the faith his friends have in God. I think there is a lesson in that slight misinterpretation.
Have you prayed for your friends and family lately? So many of us have loved ones that find it hard to believe in God, or have turned away from the faith because of hardship or pain they cannot see beyond. Could it be that because of your prayers, the Lord might forgive them their sins and heal their soul?
Isn’t that a chance worth taking, and a cause worthy of prayer?