Thursday in the Thirteenth Week of Ordinary Time

Jesus tells the man, “Courage!” Courage is needed to pursue the difficult good. Then He tells the man, “Your sins are forgiven!”  Sin results from a failure to pursue the difficult good. It is a preference for lower, more easily obtainable goods. It is the familiar tension between living for temporary worldly, sensible goods that satisfy and living for the spiritual good that is important-in-itself and endures. 

This is very important to Jesus and His mission. “Living for” material and status goods can paralyze a person spiritually. Setting one’s heart on what is currently fashionable is living competitively and often experiencing frustration. But when one wins, it’s very exciting. But one can wring it out, get tired of it. One wonders, “Is this all my life is or ever will be: acquiring stuff and status? How much longer do I have to live like this?” A life lived away from God is a life of hopelessness and futility.

So, Jesus tells the paralytic the same thing He told Mary Magdalene: “I forgive you. It’s over.”