Jesus miraculously heals the paralyzed man, awing the many witnesses and causing them to glorify God. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Piety from the Holy Spirit so he can more effectively battle against his sins and by building the Virtue of Diligence so he can continually do his duty to bring many souls to Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church.

Liturgy

1st Week in Ordinary Time – Thursday – Mk 1:40-45

Commentary

Following His early mission in Galilee, Jesus returns to Capernaum, and stays in the home of Simon Peter. Because of His miraculous healings of the leper and many others, a huge crowd of people converge on Peter’s house, making it very difficult to draw close to Jesus. 

Surrounded by a large crowd in Peter’s home, some men demonstrate great faith by lowering a paralyzed man on a bed through the roof to Jesus, hoping for a miraculous physical healing. Seeing their faith, Jesus stuns the crowd by first focusing on the paralyzed man’s spiritual ills and He forgives the man’s sins; this prefigures the Sacrament of Penance. Scribes, who were Jewish men who were experts and teachers of the law, unaware Jesus is God, silently condemn Him of blasphemy for they perceive He is acting like God by forgiving sins, a crime punishable by death because the Old Covenant, given directly by God to Moses, dictated sins could only be forgiven through the sacrificial system of the Temple.  

Able to perfectly read men’s hearts and minds, Jesus bluntly rebukes the Pharisees and teachers for their evil thoughts. To prove He indeed has the authority to forgive sins, Jesus publicly proclaims to be the Son of Man (the long-awaited Messiah) and miraculously heals the paralytic, who rises, picks up his bed, and goes home. Shocked into holy fear by the stunning supernatural event, the crowds spontaneously glorify God, and marvel Jesus has been given authority by God to forgive sins and miraculously cure the incurable.  

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Despite trillions of dollars spent on modern medical technology, it is unusual for the paralyzed to be completely healed. Be awed by Jesus’ healing of the paralytic: Divine Knowledge, Jesus knows the cause of the man’s paralysis and how to heal it, and his sins; Son of God, Jesus has the Authority and Power to override 1300-year-old Jewish ritual laws to forgive sins, changing a man’s eternal destiny; Divine Charity, Jesus chooses to perform a miraculous Corporal Work of Mercy (Care for the Sick) by helping the paralytic; Divine Power, Jesus instantaneously removes the cause of the man’s paralysis, and causes the man’s limbs to regenerate muscle, strength, and coordination. 

Seek the Gift of Piety to help confront sin

Realize: Today, sin is ignored, explained away or even celebrated with perverse pride; Jesus does none of the above; He first identifies sin (“Your sins…”), and then forgives it (“…are forgiven.”). Every Catholic man must confront his sin, repent and be forgiven.

Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1849-1876) and the Sacrament of Penance (CCC 1420-1498).

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Piety so I am moved to rigorously examine my conscience, recognize and be disgusted and sorrowful for my sins, repent with contrition, receive the life-giving Sacrament of Penance, be forgiven, and experience the wonderful joy of being healed by Jesus. 

Diligently do your duty to bring many souls to Jesus

Realize: The paralyzed man’s friends had great faith and took action, bringing the paralyzed man to Jesus; Jesus responded to the faith of these men and healed the paralyzed man. 

Believe: Reflect upon your Responsibility as a Catholic man to Evangelize (CCC 904-907), especially to Evangelize Children (CCC 2225).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Diligence (a part of Temperance) so I strive to live up to my responsibility and duty as a Catholic man to be a zealous disciple who brings many, especially children, to Jesus Christ and His Holy Catholic Church, so they can experience His salvation, peace and happiness.