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July 2006 

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The paralytic was forgiven and healed



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The paralytic was forgiven and healed
(Mathew 9, 1-8, Mark 2, 1-12, Luke5, 17-26)

Three evangelists, Mathew, Mark and Luke, told the same story except for a few details about the forgiveness and the healing of the paralytic. For the three of them, the man was depicted as inert. The four men who carried him, as underlined by Mark, brought him to Jesus. In the three stories, these men have confidence in Jesus and expect some thing from him.
Jésus et le paralytique Mark and Luke explained the difficulty for them to reach Jesus so that they managed to pass through the roof the man and his stretcher by removing tiles to make a hole. They did not give up. It is their confidence and determination that made Jesus speak and act. "Seeing their confidence, Jesus said…" The four men did not ask any thing.
They have acted and the paralytic himself did nothing and did not ask. Since the time he was handicapped, he did not know how to take the initiative, he was carried by others, supported also by the confidence of the others like a child.

So much that in Mathew and Mark, Jesus talked to him by calling him " child" To heal him of his handicap that isolated him from the others and even himself, it was said to him "Your sins are forgiven" because he was also cut off from God. It is the real healing of which the physical healing is only an illustration. It was what Jesus wanted to be understood by the people, but instead he was accused of (the) blasphemy to act like God since only He can remit sins. But Jesus did not forgive by himself by announcing that the sins are forgiven, and to confirm that the two healings are one he added: " what is the easiest to say; " Your sins are forgiven" or to say " Lift up yourself and walk?"
confiance There was no intention to make guilty the paralysed man. It was with some confidence, as Jesus encouraged him to have, that he can be put back in a normal life and be active, Jesus asked him to carry his stretcher. Being inserted again in the society, he went to his home: reconciled with God because he was reconciled with himself and with the others. He recovered his ability to relate with the others and then finally to become himself. 

The power of Jesus is to heal, to stand by your self, in a proper or figurative way, to break the fatality that prevents us to act and to behave in a responsible and autonomous way. And all that without having to ask. It is enough that others believe in it for you. The mediation by the others here is very important and gives courage to those who feel lost and have given up any hope for a better future.
It is so far away from what is happening some times in our churches for the sacrament of reconciliation, that makes you feel guilty, that obliges you to plunge back into our misbehaving in sinful ways or our little sins, to repent and to humiliate oneself to be forgiven. 


Nothing of that in this passage of the Gospel where nobody is asking any thing but Jesus knew what hope these men were having and knew what the sick man was needing. Jesus gave his command: it is up to the renewed man to decide what to do accordingly. It is not astonishing that the crowd in seeing this, showed their surprise and admiration.