Monday of the Second Week of Advent
“Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Rather than deny their claim, Jesus, as He does so many other times, doubles down on what He has said in the Gospel, demonstrating His divinity and power to heal invisible infirmities by curing the visible ones. Indeed, only God can forgive sins. It should give us pause, though, when we stumble upon the claims of the Church to do the same! This is not a stolen power. She is never slow to attribute the source of healing grace to her Head and Spouse. Still, only God forgives sins, but He finds it fitting to use human instruments in His work, not unlike the way in which the paralytic came to be at the foot of Christ in today’s reading.
For, can we say with certainty that the man that received joy and gladness would have leapt like a stag if his friends had not lowered him to the ground? Jesus saw their faith, not the faith of the man, and yet chose to forgive the man his sins. The fathers saw this as a clear affirmation of the importance and efficacy of our prayers. Their power is reliant on Christ’s power, and they can cause healing in not only ourselves, but also in others. During this Advent, let us pray for each other, both the living and the dead, that our weak knees will be made firm. After all, no one unclean may pass over the holy way.
Graduate Retreat Assistant