We hear in the Gospel of Luke (5:17-26) the story of Jesus healing a paralyzed man. The friends of this man were bringing him to Jesus, but were unable bring him close to the Lord because of the size of the crowd, so they removed part of the roofing above where Jesus sat, and lowered the stretcher holding their friend into the midst of Jesus. The opportunity becomes one where Jesus teaches us and all who were present that he has power, not only over the physical world, but the spiritual as well. He forgives the man of his sins (which those present cannot see), and then, to demonstrate the power of his word, heals the man of his paralysis (something that those present could visually witness).

Forgiveness is very powerful! Only God can completely forgive sins, but we also somehow participate in the forgiving capacity in our world. We are called to forgive others, as Jesus forgives us. God has given us a great gift, one that we are to give away and share with others. That’s one of the beautiful things about the gifts from God; they are multiplied when given away. The paralytic in this Gospel story had some incredible friends, people who were willing to use what God had given them to make healing possible for their friend. And then God, in his infinite love and mercy, bestowed on the man an even greater gift, forgiveness of his sins, opening the doors of Heaven and eternal life.

Lord, help me to share my gifts with others, that the gifts you’ve given me may be used for good, and bring you glory. You have also offered me the gift of forgiveness. Give me the strength and courage to share it with others and fully live out the words of the prayer you gave your Church: “Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us.” Let my forgiveness of others be magnified according to your will. Amen.

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