Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
God save us in person
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….. they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “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.” Mk 2,3-12
When I was a young engineer, while I was working at my desk, I saw, beyond the glass wall which separated us, the manager answering to the phone, hanging up the phone, taking the coat and leaving. On a site works serious problems arose. On his return he called me in his office, in order to receive information about the activity I was doing and while we talked, he told me what had happened in that site works. “Sorry, engineer – I ventured to say – could you have not given instructions over the phone?”. He replied: “I will teach you a secret: if the problem to be solved is small, call over the phone; if it is greater, send a collaborator; if the problem is severe, go in person”. This rule has often made me pondering on what serious problem the humanity would have been if, at some point, God decided to incarnate himself in Jesus of Nazareth and to come in personto put the things right among us. It had happened that the man was completely lost in the sin and desperately needed to be reborn to a new life. The enlightened messages of the prophets and even the cooperation of men like Abraham and Moses have been not enough. The man had to rise from its inside and, to cause it to take place, it was necessary that God became a man among us, that he died on the cross, forgiving all, that he rose again from the dead, extreme manifestation of the evil and of the devil. It is from that forgiveness and resurrection that a new humanity was born. It is the parable of the lost sheep taken to extreme consequences. The sin is still in the world, but the forgiveness which Jesus brought from the heaven to the earth, then entrusted to the Church through the sacrament of the reconciliation, allows us to continually reborn to a new life. It is the salvation of which the today paralytic has the privilege of experiencing the anticipation, “You sins are forgiven”. The proof that all this is true is shown by the fact that the paralytic takes up his mat and goes home happily.