Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Congregation for the Clergy

2/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (

By healing the paralytic Jesus shows how the forgiven person is truly recreated and restored to new life.

Jesus heals the paralytic in order to confirm this radical novelty that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.  In this way, the inner healing that is required for the forgiveness of sin is also associated with physical healing.  It gives perfect expression to the entirety of forgiveness which involves the whole person: the body is freed from the disease just as the spirit is freed from sin.

Healing and forgiveness are connected

Healing and forgiveness are connected


By Congregation for the Clergy

Catholic Online (

2/19/2012 (2 years ago)

Published in Living Faith

Keywords: Paralytic, confession, penance, repentance, healing, Vatican, Congregation for the Clergy

ROME, Italy (Catholic Online) - The Prophet Isaiah presents us with an image of a God who forgives the sins of his people in a radical way, by cancelling them out permanently, remembering them no more. 

This 'divine capacity' expresses his will to forgive totally, which is so typical of God's love.  In this way the person is totally recreated.  By forgiving, God makes all things new, as if he were making a path through the desert and sending springs of living water to flow along it.

The first reading reveals the fundamental meaning of the Gospel story.  Mark describes the scene of the paralytic who, in order to meet Jesus, had to be lowered from the roof of the house where the Lord was preaching.

Jesus is struck by this demonstration of faith but he does not immediately heal the man physically.  Instead he says to paralytic: 'my child, your sins are forgiven,' thereby performing an act of much greater value than any physical healing.

This aroused the indignation of the scribes who were present.  They cried out 'he is blaspheming!' because 'only God' can forgive sins - as solemnly affirmed by the passage from Isaiah. 

Jesus, by remitting the man's sins, and affirming that they can be remitted, places Himself on an equal footing with God, revealing Himself as God.  It is a theophany of Christ!

The actual healing only occurs later, apparently determined by the scandalous attitude of the scribes.  

Jesus heals the paralytic in order to confirm this radical novelty that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.  In this way, the inner healing that is required for the forgiveness of sin is also associated with physical healing.  It gives perfect expression to the entirety of forgiveness which involves the whole person: the body is freed from the disease just as the spirit is freed from sin.

By healing the paralytic Jesus shows how the forgiven person is truly recreated and restored to new life.

The Lord's action also highlights the faith of the paralytics 'group of friends' who, together, present an moving image of the Church.  The force of the faith and the testimony of each of us, sustains the healing of our brothers.  It is in authentic communion that is the real 'theological and spiritual place' where the Lord works miracles of healing and forgiveness.

Today's liturgy is like a great hymn in praise of God's forgiveness; the 'new creation' brought about by Christ the Lord and the possibility of new life he offers to each one of us.  This touches us deeply, especially in the radical forgiveness which God continues to give today, through the Church, to all his children.

May Mary, Mother of Mercy, sustain each of us in a firm faith in the Lord's Divine Mercy: that mercy which is the mystery of love freely given to all those who humbly implore it.

Citations of
Is 43,18-19.21-22.24b-25:   
2Co 1,18-22:  
Mc 2,1-12:  


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.


More Living Faith

Pope says he's willing to speak to Islamic State - says nations are likewise guilty of 'terrorism' Watch

Image of After addressing the European Parliament and the Council of Europe, Pope Francis also told journalists that the threat of terrorism was not the only horror weighing on the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Asked about the possibilities of discussion with Islamic State, Pope Francis said, "I never count anything as lost. Never. Never close the door. It's difficult, you could say almost impossible, but the door is always open." The Pontiff went forward to say that ... continue reading

Take the Catholic Online Thanksgiving Challenge! Watch

Image of Reaching out to others is precisely the way to show that we are thankful for what we have.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Thanksgiving is supposed to be a holiday filled with family and food, often spent on televised parades and football, and naps after lunch. Kids play in the yard or the streets as everybody generally has a good time. However, this is not the case for millions of ... continue reading

Unborn, terminally ill and elderly are treated as objects in Europe, Pope Francis says Watch

Image of If we uphold the dignity of the person we are acknowledging the

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Despite talk of human rights, too many people are treated as objects in Europe: unborn, terminally ill, and the elderly," Pope Francis said. Speaking at the European Union Parliament in Strasbourg, the pontiff said that "We're too tempted to throwaway lives we ... continue reading

Church recognizes six new saints as Pope Francis canonizes in Sunday ceremony, speaking about how we too shall be judged Watch

Image of Indian well-wishers gather at the Vatican for the Canonization ceremony.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has canonized six new saints, two Indians and four Italians, praising their lives as "extraordinary" and reminding us all that we will be judged by how we treat others. VATICAN CITY (Catholic Online) - Pope Francis recognized six new saints on Sunday, ... continue reading

Pope says church must extend help to immigrants, 'so that all may be treated as children of God' Watch

Image of The world must now recognize the advantages of migration. Host countries get new workers to meet production needs,

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Speaking to the 300 participants in the Vatican-sponsored World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Migrants, the Pope says that the Catholic Church "is a mother without limits and without borders." He says that the church must welcome and assist all of God's children, ... continue reading

Feast of Christ the King and Advent: What Does it Mean? Watch

Image of The Church really IS the Mystical Body of the Risen Christ. That Body is inseparably joined to the Head. Jesus Christ is alive, he has been raised, and he continues His redemptive mission now through the Church, of which we are members. As we choose to actually live our lives liturgically, not just go through the motions, we can move through life in the flow of the liturgical calendar. We can experience the deeper mystery and meaning of life, now made New in Jesus Christ, the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6,7) Jesus Christ is King! Jesus Christ is meant to become the Lord of our whole lives, and inform the very pattern of how we live them.

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

On November 23rd we celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. It is one of many opportunities the Catholic Liturgical Church year offers to each of us consider the creature which is called time, receive it as a gift and begin to really live differently. Yet, for ... continue reading

Two bishops dine and dialogue with peace activists

Image of War doesn't decide who is right, just who is left.

By Tony Magliano

During the recent U.S. Catholic bishops fall assembly in Baltimore, two bishops decided to forego the military chaplains dinner sponsored by the U.S. Army Chief of Chaplains Office, and attended instead a simple supper and discussion on peacemaking. On the evening of ... continue reading

'God always forgives, but the earth does not,' Pope warns Watch

Image of The Pope urged the world's leaders to rein in their greed and help the hungry.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A doomsday scenario in which Mother Nature would exact her revenge is possible, even likely, Pope Francis warns. The pontiff was speaking out against the exploitation of natural resources for profit. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pope urged the world's ... continue reading

Pope Francis' special message: Why Poverty? 'And while we speak of new rights, the hungry remain'

Image of When we give our loaves and fishes to Christ, there is no end to the Good that can come from it.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis has asked the world to do more to help those who suffer from hunger and malnutrition. Despite gains made in infrastructure and outpourings of food, too many people with plenty have done too little to help. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - With ... continue reading

How do you raise a good, upstanding child? With daily prayers, weekly church attendance and the knowledge of God Watch

Image of Billy Graham, now 96, has reached out to millions with his joyous words of the truth of God and Jesus Christ.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Reverend Billy Graham, the world famous television evangelist and founder and chairman of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has said that the reason the world seems to be in such dire straits is that children are not being raised right. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading

All Living Faith News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 15:1-4
1 And I saw in heaven another sign, great and ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 98:1, 2-3, 7-8, 9
1 [Psalm] Sing a new song to Yahweh, for he has ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:12-19
12 'But before all this happens, you will be seized ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 26th, 2014 Image

St. John Berchmans
November 26: Eldest son of a shoemaker, John was born at Diest, Brabant. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook

Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter