- Friday, 18 January 2019 -
Friday of the First week in Ordinary Time
Readings of day

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 2:1-12.

When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven."
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, "Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk'?
But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"--
he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home."
He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB

Saint Hilary
"Rise, pick up your mat, and go home"

[In Matthew's gospel Jesus has just cured two foreigners in pagan territory.] In this one paralytic all the pagans are presented before Christ to be healed. But even the terms of the healing need to be studied: what he says to the paralysed man is not: “Be healed” nor “Get up and walk” but “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven” (Mt 9:2). Sin had been transmitted among all nations in one man, Adam, and that is why he who is called "child" is presented to be healed...: because he is God's first work... he now receives the mercy that comes from the forgiveness of that first disobedience. Indeed, we don't see that this paralytic had committed any sin; and the Lord also said that blindness from birth had not been contracted as a result of a personal or hereditary sin (Jn 9:3)... None can forgive sins except God alone, and so he who healed them is God... And so that people might understand that he had taken flesh for the remission of their sins and to gain resurrection for their bodies, he said: “That you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins on earth” – he then said to the paralytic: “Rise, pick up your stretcher”. It would have been enough to have said: “Rise”, but... he added: “Pick up your stretcher and go home.” First he granted remission of sins, then he manifested the power of the resurrection, and then, by making him take up his stretcher, he taught that weakness and pain will no longer afflict the body. Finally, by sending this man home healed, he showed that believers must rediscover the road to paradise, the same road that Adam, the father of all, abandoned when he was spoiled by the stain of sin.

Commentary on Saint Matthew's gospel, 8:5 (cf. SC 254, p. 199 rev.)