I see three significant lessons from today’s Gospel. The first is that healing takes place on many levels. It is clear that the most astonishing part of the story is the miracle performed by Jesus that sends a paralyzed man walking home. Yet Jesus continues to remind us that there is a connection between healing and forgiveness: he forgives the man’s sins and then sends him on his way. This was not a simple miracle to impress or win over the crowd – for Jesus, there is no such thing as cheap grace. The physical healing does not come without some sense of life-changing reconciliation or forgiveness.
Secondly, when Jesus met the crowd he took notice of their faith. It was out of faith that the crowd brought the paralyzed man to Jesus for healing. This shows us the importance that faith has in empowering us to act. Healing happens, forgiveness is given, and miracles are witnessed when we are first able to come to God in faith.
Lastly, today’s Gospel concludes with the crowd glorifying God with awe. How quickly many of us are to forget the profound works of God in our lives. So easy it is to experience healing and forgiveness and then continue life without memory of God’s loving works. We see the crowd first come to Jesus in faith, then witness God’s work through Christ, and conclude with praise and thanksgiving at the awesome works of God.
In an act of faith, let us take the time today to bring our lives to Christ, experience the healing and forgiveness God offers through Him, and then glorify God with the lives we have been gifted.
- Tyler Wessman served in Honduras as a Passionist Volunteer in 2007-2008. He is currently studying for a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) at the School of Theology and Ministry, Boston College.