The cure of the paralytic
July 05, 2018 Thursday, 13th Week
in Ordinary Time
1st Reading: Am 7:10-17
Gospel: Mt 9:1–8
Jesus got back into the boat, crossed the lake again, and came to his hometown. Here they brought a paralyzed man to him, lying on a bed. Jesus saw their faith and said to the paralytic, “Courage, my son! Your sins are forgiven.” Then some teachers of the Law said to themselves, “This man insults God.” Jesus was aware of what they were thinking, and said, “Why have you such evil thoughts? Which is easier to say: ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? You must know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” He then said to the paralyzed man, “Stand up! Take your stretcher and go home.” The man got up, and went home.When the crowds saw this, they were filled with awe and praised God for giving such power to human beings.
(Daily Gospel in
the Assimilated Life
“Prejudices are most difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened or fertilized by education”, wrote Charlotte Bronte. We wonder, however, why education did not help the Teachers of the Law. They were one of the most highly educated personalities in Biblical times yet they were also the most bigoted people, second only to the Pharisees.
Today’s Gospel showcases their close-mindedness. Jesus had just healed a paralytic. There was more to this healing. Isaiah had prophesied that Zebulun and Naphtali would be great again after being devastated by the invading Assyrians in 733 B.C. The healing of the paralytic had something to do with the fulfillment of this prophecy because Capernaum where this healing happened was located by the sea in the region of Zebulun and Naphtali.
It was impossible that The Teachers of the Law did not see this point because they were highly educated. But instead of rejoicing over the dawning of the greatness of Zebulun and Naphtali, they mounted a great opposition to Jesus. Something wonderful happened, however, because that great opposition was matched with the impressive faith of the paralytic. The paralytic got not only physical healing but forgiveness as well.
Jesus forgiving the sins of the paralytic was the last straw to the Teachers of the Law. But Jesus only had to remind them of their current belief that sickness was related to sinfulness. By removing the sickness Jesus proved his power to forgive sins. Still they condemned Jesus. Their case calls for a revision of Charlotte Bronte’s proposition, and it could be revised this way: Notwithstanding high level of education, prejudice is difficult to eradicate from the heart whose soil has never been loosened by faith. – (Atty.) Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., D.M.
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