7th Sunday – Ordinary Time, Year B

Mark 2:1-12

Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralyzed Man
 1 A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. 2 They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. 3 Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. 4 Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. 5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves, 7 “Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”8 Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? 9 Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
REFLECTION, By Fr Aldo, sx

Today we find Jesus healing a paralytic. The fame of Jesus grew rapidly. His miracles attract crowds. Therefore, thousands of people gathered in front of the house where Jesus was. There are so many people crowded around him that it seemed impossible to approach Jesus.

Well…difficult? Yes! But not impossible! This is what the four friends of the paralytic of this gospel show us. The persistence of these strangers is remarkable. Seldom we have such an opportunity to witness a demonstration of faith like this. How many times in the face of problems, we feel exactly like that. Jesus seems so distant and barriers seem impossible to be overcome. Due to much pessimism, little courage and lack of faith we tend to give up easily as we face the human barriers that separate us from the Lord.

This agglomeration of people who stand between us and Jesus many times deliberately separates us from God. The human barriers are formed by those “friends” (in quotes) that drag us to the vices, drugs, marital infidelity … They are the disseminators of the attractions that destroy the family. The same is true in the face of illness. There are huge barriers in between the patient, physician and pharmacy. Often, due to the high costs and so many bureaucracies, the access to medicines, hospitalization and additional laboratory tests seems impossible. As in this gospel, thousands of people also await at the doors of our hospitals for a helping hand. In most cases, the cure does not depend on miracles, but on sufficient care and medicine. The miracle that could save many lives does not depend so much on divine intervention but mostly on human intervention.

The miracle that depends on human intervention has a name: it is called love, sharing, dignity and even right. If what is written in the Constitution is true that every citizen has the right to health and if these rights are respected, surely everything would miraculously change. As if by miracle, those huge queues at clinics and hospitals will disappear. Miraculously the drugs can be purchased at affordable prices. There will be vacancies for care and hospitalizations, including ICU. The poor will no longer be stacked in the corridors or outside the hospitals.

Before healing the paralytic, Jesus forgives his sins. With this gesture Jesus shows that before curing what is physical, one needs to fix what is spiritual, to have the right mindset. For God the really disabled person is not the paralytic, deaf or blind for God knows millions of paralytics who walk, deaf that hear and blind that see. People with disability do walk, hear and see, but their ways are not always shortcuts that lead to Jesus. They do not always hear God’s word or feel the presence of brothers and sisters. We must urgently introduce them to the merciful God.

Those who know Jesus and where to find him, jump over any obstacle, climb walls and roofs, so to approach him and place at his feet all their problems. Faith, great faith, always believes! That’s the good news today.


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