Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Amos 7:10-17; Matthew 9:1-8)
The world will long be appalled by the atrocities committed by the Nazis in World War II. They killed over six million Jews in their quest to show Aryan supremacy. The horror is being duplicated in a sense by the millions of abortions perpetrated every year. Since the crime was legalized in the United States, approximately fifty million human lives yearning to be born in this country alone have been obliterated. The gospel today indicates the possibility of forgiveness for these massive manifestations of sinfulness.
The people are bewildered by Jesus’ forgiving the sins of the paralytic. They wonder not only how Jesus could ignore the obvious desire of the man for healing but also how he could appropriate to himself the power to forgive. After all, only God can undo all the damage that sin causes. Graciously Jesus does not leave them in suspense. To show the people that he comes from God with the power to forgive, he cures the paralytic of his infirmity.
In a way more dramatic than a cure, Jesus will testify to his ability to forgive all the sins of the world – including those of the Nazis and those who have participated in abortion. He dies on the cross and then rises from the dead to insure us that our sins do not separate us from the love of God. They are nothing to be proud of and should be confessed, but they are forgivable and we, therefore, redeemable. Jesus’ death and resurrection have enabled us to walk with him truth and in love.