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Today’s Reading: Mark 2:1-12

1 And when he returned to Caperna-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home. 2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. 4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay. 5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” 6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, 7 “Why does this man speak like this? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they questioned like this within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question like this in your hearts? 9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, Rise, take up your pallet and walk’? 10 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins”- he said to the paralytic – 11 “I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home.” 12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!”

Today’s Commentary:

Their faith: i.e., the faith of the four men who carried the paralytic (2:4). The forgiveness that Jesus confers upon the helpless paralytic in response to the faith of others (the four men) mirrors the effects of Infant Baptism, where he continues to regenerate helpless children through the intercessory faith of their parents (CCC 1250-53).

The scribes: Scholars of the Mosaic Law and its traditional interpretation. With the exception of one episode (12:28-34), they are cast as Jesus’ adversaries in Mark.

It is blasphemy!: The scribes are incensed that Jesus claims for himself a prerogative that belongs only to God: the power to remit sins (Ps 103:3; Is 43:25; CCC 1441). They have misjudged the matter as blasphemy, which was a capital crime in ancient Israel (Lev 24:16). Note that Jesus manifests his divinity both by absolving the man’s sins and by exposing the unspoken disapproval of his critics (2:8).