In today’s Gospel, Matthew 9: 1-8, people bring a paralytic person lying on a stretcher to Jesus. This person is dependent upon others to bring Him to the Lord. Jesus sees their faith and says to the paralytic: “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Bystanders are disturbed and, in their thoughts, are accusing Jesus of blasphemy, that is of profanity, sacrilege, wickedness, and/or irreverence. What an accusation. Jesus knows their thoughts and asks them: “Who do you harbor evil thoughts?” To prove a point of His authority, he says to the paralytic: “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
You and I are both the paralytic and a bystander. We are paralyzed by our sinfulness, our selfishness, our pride, our judgments against others and other sinful behaviors and attitudes. Our unresolved hurts and angers towards persons who harmed us throughout our lives, easily and many times unknowingly, blocks our ability to rise to new life and new opportunities to be a source of new life deeper trust, and renewed faith for others. As bystanders, we are prone to judging others, not helping them, empowering them or ourselves to incarnate God in our midst as Jesus did.
Lord, I bring to you my own paralysis, my own evil thoughts and ask for healing.
“Courage,” Dorothy Ann (insert your name), your sins are forgiven. Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home” to spread the Good News of your salvation and to be a source of saving graces for others by your work, your faith, your love and your merciful forgiveness of others and yourself on a daily basis."