While reading today’s Gospel for reflection, I was intrigued by the words Jesus said to the paralytic: “Courage, son, your sins are forgiven.”. The paralytic, not uttering a single word to Jesus, was forgiven and healed by the Lord.
The paralytic was brought to Jesus lying on a stretcher, probably, by his friends who were so eager for him to be healed. Similarly, in my spiritual journey, I was like a paralytic lying on a bed and unable to move by myself. I was in a bed of sin, spiritually paralyzed, to a point where not even a single prayer crossed my mind. I was so consumed by worldly allurements and I had the wrong notion that I was able to shape my life outside of what God has planned for me. I stopped hoping that I could bring myself back to the care of the Church. Despite this, there were people who unceasingly prayed for me even though my case seemed a hopeless one: my family, friends, relatives, and even some acquaintances. I firmly believe that I was brought back to Jesus through their efforts and because God always knew that His grace will be able to transform me and lead me to conversion. I felt that He gladly welcomed me back to His fold. He did not only forgive my sins but He even bestowed upon me a greater grace which is this vocation of following Him. His words “Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home” went even beyond to “Come, follow Me.”. This was possible through many people who were fervent in praying for me that I may return to Jesus.
Today’s Gospel reminds me to always go back to this personal conversion experience. I must always be grateful to those people who are praying unceasingly for the conversion of sinners and increase in priestly vocations.
By: Sem. Alvin R. Cedo
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he then said to the paralytic,
“Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.