For a more enriching experience,
go down on your knees to pray or take it one step further
and prostrate yourself (lay face down) on the floor while praying.
Father, today's reading is powerful in so many ways. There is the example of profound Faith by the men lowering the sick man through the roof. There is the profound Faith of the sick man himself agreeing to it. There is the example of a possible 'burden of guilt' by the sick man and how it not only hurt him spiritually but how it took a toll on his physical body. There is the example of judgment and impulse without thinking by the crowd. And there is the example of how rebellious, courageous and wise Jesus was. He asks them the question, "Which is easier . . " and rightfully they answer that it is indeed easier to 'say' that the man's sins are forgiven, rather than walk when it was obvious that the man was paralyzed. But then Jesus goes on to tell the paralytic man that not only are His sins forgiven, because He has the power to forgive them, but He tells the paralytic man to pick up his mat and walk. Who knows what day this was on because if it were the Sabbath it would have been against religious practice to carry your mat, which Jesus showed us in John 5:1-16. So basically Jesus is saying to the crowd, "Not only can I forgive His sins but I can also heal him. I'll do both!" He gave them the question of, "Which is easier . . ." suggesting one but Jesus does both. I LOVE THIS SCRIPTURE! Jesus does it all. I LOVE IT! The forgiveness, the healing of paralysis and the instruction to pick up his mat was probably just too much and over-the-top for the crowd to digest and reconcile in their mind. Jesus does it all.
Thank You for this reading today and for the prayer below that Jesus taught us in Matthew 6:9-13, which causes me to wonder from the forgiveness line below, "Do I really want You to forgive me in the same way that I forgive others?" Where it says, "as we" . . . I should be thinking, "as I".
Who art in heaven
Hallowed be thy Name
Thy Kingdom come
Thy Will be done
As it is in heaven
And give us this day
Our daily bread
And forgive us trespasses
As we, forgive those who trespass against us
And let us not
but deliver us from evil
For Thine is the Kingdom
And the Power
And the Glory
Through Jesus Christ's Precious Blood, Most Sacred Name and Most Holy Face. ~Amen
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
17 On one of those days, as He was teaching, there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was with Him to heal.
18 And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before Jesus;
19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus.
20 And when He saw their faith He said, "Man, your sins are forgiven you."
21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, "Who is this that speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?"
22 When Jesus perceived their questionings, He answered them, "Why do you question in your hearts?
23 Which is easier, to say, `Your sins are forgiven you,' or to say, `Rise and walk'?
24 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins" -- He said to the man who was paralyzed -- "I say to you, rise, take up your bed and go home."
25 And immediately he rose before them, and took up that on which he lay, and went home, glorifying God.
26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, "We have seen strange things today."
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ
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