Jesus shocks a crowd by miraculously healing a paralytic and forgiving his sins. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gifts of Knowledge and Fortitude so he can fearlessly confront his own sins and by building the Virtue of Religion so he can be forgiven by God in the Sacrament of Penance. 

Liturgy

2nd Week of Advent – Monday – Lk 5:17-26

Commentary

After preaching in Judea, Jesus returns to Capernuam and begins to build His core men by calling Peter, Andrew, James, and John, and begins to preach and heal among the growing multitudes.  As news of Jesus’ compelling Gospel and His miraculous  power to heal begins to spread, Pharisees and teachers of the Law come from as far away as Jerusalem to investigate and denounce Jesus. 

Jesus enters a house and is surrounded by a large crowd, which blocks entry into the house. Some men demonstrate great faith by carrying a paralyzed man on a bed to Jesus, hoping for a miraculous physical healing for their friend; unable to break through the crowd, the men ingeniously climb up on the roof, remove the roofing, and lower the paralytic down to Jesus. 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. The Pharisees and teachers, experts in Jewish law, unaware Jesus is God, silently condemn Him of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death because the Old Covenant dictated that sins could only be forgiven through the sacrificial system of the Temple. 

Able to read men’s hearts and minds, Jesus bluntly rebukes the Pharisees and scribes 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, miraculously heals the paralytic by simply commanding the paralytic to rise, and he 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

Divine Knowledge, Jesus knows the inner heart of the paralyzed man (his sins) and the inner thoughts of the scribes and Pharisees (their condemnation of Jesus of blasphemy); Divine Charity, Jesus effortlessly uses His Divine Power to perform a miraculous Corporal Work of Mercy, healing the severely paralyzed man; Divine Priest, Jesus prefigures the Sacrament of Penance by forgiving the sins of the paralyzed man.

 Fearlessly confront your sins

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.”). 

Believe: Reflect upon Mortal and Venial Sin (CCC 1846-1876). 

Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gifts of Knowledge and Fortitude so I can have a thorough knowledge of the sins which You condemn, I can identify and courageously confront my own many sins through a regular and rigorous Examination of Conscience, and I am filled with deep contrition for having offended You. 

Be forgiven and filled with joy in the Sacrament of Penance

Realize: Many Catholic men are in a state of mortal sin, for they have freely chosen to reject the minimum requirement to go to Confession at least once a year (a precept of the Church – CCC 2042). Rather than a burden, realize that Catholic men have been granted by Jesus Christ the great blessing, honor, and privilege to be completely absolved of their sins in Confession. 

Believe: Reflect upon the truth that Christ’s Holy Catholic Church has the ability to Forgive Sins (CCC 1461-1467).

Pray: Lord Jesus, Perfection of Justice, help me build the Virtue of Religion (a part of Justice) so I give thanks for the Sacraments of Your Holy Catholic Church, and I make it an urgent and regular priority to joyfully receive Your forgiveness through the Sacrament of Penance.