The Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth
From the Gospel according to Mark. Mk 2:1-12
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, “Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” –he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
The Gospel of the Lord
Through the roof.
The faith and determination of those who lower the paralyzed man by opening a hole in the roof capture attention. The homeowners might not be very pleased, but well… In our faith, we call determination Hope. Hope nourishes faith, and faith is guaranteed by charity. These are the three theological virtues that are very present in the stretcher-bearers.
Hope comes from waiting. Yes, we have to learn to wait, but without ceasing to fight. However, we fight with determination precisely because we hope, through faith, that charity will inundate our marital relationships.
Is everything not going as you would like? Wait. Still waiting that communion you long for? Wait. But wait while giving it your all, like the stretcher-bearers in our story. They don’t tell the paralyzed man to fend for himself; they don’t blame him for not being able to walk… They get deeply involved and start the house from the roof if necessary. Let’s do the same with our spouses: Let’s fight cleverly to help each other and practice Hope. Leave the rest to the Lord.
Applied to married life:
Harry: What are you doing, Evie?
Evie: I’m making a list of all the virtues you have.
Harry: Oh! It seems quite long, I see. And why?
Evie: To help you. Because I’m sure God has given you everything you need to be holy, so I’ll help you make the most of each of your virtues so that you can become holy.
Harry: Wow! That’s quite an original plan. I’m looking forward to starting.
Evie: Me too. I got the idea from today’s Gospel, and I’m going to be your stretcher-bearer.
Harry: Can I kiss my stretcher-bearer?
We live our marriage with Hope because we know it will be God’s work and that He will make it possible. Praise the Lord for being on our side.