Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time

If you were the paralytic, and your friends tore apart the roof of Jesus’ house in Capernaum, and they lowered you down on your mat in front of Jesus, surrounded by a great crowd, and Jesus told you “child, your sins are forgiven,” would you be satisfied?  Wouldn’t you also want to hear those famous words of Jesus: “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home?”

In Mark 2:1-12, Jesus does not heal the paralytic at first, but only forgives him his sins.  He does not heal his paralysis until after he confronts the scribes with their accusation of blasphemy.  It seems that the purpose of this healing miracle is to confirm Jesus’ ability to forgive sins, and the forgiveness of sins seems to be a higher priority for Jesus.  It is not clear whether the healing miracle would have happened if the scribes had not had their doubts.  Does that satisfy you?

No matter how good your health is right now, the day will come when, like a paralytic, you will not be able to walk any more.  On that day, what will satisfy you?  Only a healing miracle?  Remember the first principle and foundation of the Spiritual Exercises: “Man is created to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul…  Consequently, as far as we are concerned, we should not prefer health to sickness…  Our one desire and choice should be what is more conducive to the end for which we are created.”

January 13th, 2017