Today's Gospel (Mark 2:1-12):
'When Jesus returned to Capernaum, word went round that he was back; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as the crowd made it impossible to get the man to him, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, ‘My child, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some scribes were sitting there, and they thought to themselves, ‘How can this man talk like that? He is blaspheming. Who can forgive sins but God?’ Jesus, inwardly aware that this was what they were thinking, said to them, ‘Why do you have these thoughts in your hearts? Which of these is easier: to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven” or to say, “Get up, pick up your stretcher and walk”? But to prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins,’ – he turned to the paralytic – ‘I order you: get up, pick up your stretcher, and go off home.’ And the man got up, picked up his stretcher at once and walked out in front of everyone, so that they were all astounded and praised God saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this.’'
How can we align this Gospel passage with our daily lives? What parallels can we draw with this Gospel and what it means to be Catholic today?
Consider yourself as being one of those who brings the paralytic man to Jesus. Could this not be our role in society today....to bring people to Jesus? In his recent exhortation Pope Francis called on all of us to have a sense of mission in evangelising our world. Bringing people closer to Jesus is fundamental to that mission. We must, in living out our lives, endeavour to bring Jesus into the lives of people and, thus, take them closer to Christ.
Or do we consider ourselves to be the paralytic....in need of forgiveness? Only Jesus can forgive our sins. We cannot go straight to God in order to be forgiven for our wrongdoings. This passage shows us that we must seek that forgiveness through Christ and Christ alone. The Church is blessed with the sacrament of Reconciliation where, through the priest, we can ask Jesus to forgive us our sins.
Confessing our sins may seem daunting, especially if you haven't been to confession for many years. In truth, however, this sacrament is all about being washed with the limitless, unconditional, true love of Christ. It is immersing oneself in the open arms of Christ and becoming lost in his love for you. Not his love for anyone else. His love for you. No sin is unworthy of Christ's forgiveness. Every sin, no matter how big or how small it may seem, is capable of forgiveness.
Jesus, with his arms outstretched on the Cross, is ready to forgive you. He is ready to take you into his arms and love you like you have never been loved before.
If you are contemplating confession or perhaps just want to know a little bit more about it, check out our article 'A Personal Experience of Confession' by clicking this link.