For Friday of the First Ordinary Week of the Church Year
Today in his Gospel, Christ reads the actions, the hearts and the minds of those present.
When he sees the four men carrying their paralyzed friend to him, the Lord reads their hearts, and, as the Gospel tells us, he sees their faith.
He also looks into the heart of the friend they are carrying, and sees in him the spiritual paralysis of sin.
Then, because he sees the FAITH of that man’s FRIENDS, he says to the paralyzed man, “My son, YOUR SINS are forgiven.”
Then Christ reads the hearts of the scribes who are present and thinking silently, “God alone can forgive sins— this man is blaspheming.”
The Lord immediately speaks in answer to their unspoken thoughts.
“Why do you question thus in your hearts?”
Then, because of the UNBELIEF of the SCRIBES, the Lord says to the paralyzed man, “Rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
The FAITH of the paralyzed man’s friends achieves something they are NOT expecting.
The UNBELIEF of the scribes also occasions something THEY are not expecting.
The paralyzed man, who cannot do or say anything, is the beneficiary of both the FAITH of others as well as the UNBELIEF of others.
All of this takes place while no one voices a single word, except Christ who reads the hearts of all.
They think he is only a man.
However, he has God’s authority and power both to heal bodies and forgive sins on earth.
Here in his Eucharist, he has the same authority and power to heal the body, raise the dead, forgive sins and bring salvation.
If we approach him now with faith— as did the friends of the paralytic— if we approach the Eucharistic Christ with faith today, our faith may win from Christ today the forgiveness of sins for our friends, for the world and for ourselves.
We can believe that the sick and the suffering will benefit if we are approach Christ with faith.
Who among us has authority to measure or limit what Christ can do in answer to our own faith?
We don’t have that authority.
Christ in his Eucharist has authority and power to go beyond all our expectations.