Thought of the day
Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time

"Who but God alone can forgive sins?"

"They came bringing to him a paralytic." The evangelists say not only that they brought him, but that they also broke up the roof, and let him down. And they put the sick man before Christ, saying nothing, but committing everything to him. In the beginning of the ministry he himself went about, and did not require so much faith of those that came to him; but in this case they approached him, and faith was required on their part. For, "Seeing," it is said, "their faith;" that is, the faith of them that had let the man down... In this case the sick man too showed much faith; for he would not have let himself be let down through the roof, unless he had believed.

Since they had shown such great faith, Jesus also shows his own power, his authority to absolve sins, signifying that he is equal in honor with his Father. He implied it from the beginning, by his teaching, when he taught them "as one having authority"; by the leper, when he said, "I will do it. Be made clean"; by the sea, when he calmed it with a mere word; by the demons, when they acknowledged him as their judge… Here, he signifies his indifference to honor by not hastening to heal the visible body; he healed first that which is invisible, the soul, by forgiving his sins; which indeed saved the man, but brought no great glory to Christ. Then some people, in their malice, wanted to assail him; it only served to make the miracle even more evident, against their will.