Catholic Mass Readings and Reflection July 04, 2024


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R/. . The judgments of the Lord are true; they are, all of them, just

V/. Alleluia

R/. Alleluia

V/. In Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

R/. Alleluia.

At that time: Getting into a boat Jesus crossed over and came to his own city. And behold, some people brought to him a paralytic, lying on a bed. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven.” And behold, some of the scribes said to themselves, “This man is blaspheming.” But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts? For which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he then said to the paralytic—“Rise, pick up your bed and go home.” And he rose and went home. When the crowds saw it, they were afraid, and they glorified God, who had given such authority to men.

1.      In the first reading from Amos, we find a certain Amaziah, the priest of Bethel. He becomes a false prophet. He blames and threatens Amos for his prophecy of doom and exile. He complains and slanders Amos before the king, raising fury in his heart to kill Amos. He also makes a false prophecy. He prophesies safety and prosperity for Israel.

2.      But the reality is totally different. God’s will is contrary to his prophecy. The infidelity of Israel was so enormous that they deserve and await chastisement through exile. Amos was truly the voice of His will and plans.

3.      Amaziah falsifies the truth, speaks against Amos, and prophesies against God’s will. All this was because he was full of jealousy against Amos and also self-interest to please the king and people and thus gain their favour.

4.      In the gospel too, the Pharisees and scribes were like Amaziah. They were filled with jealousy against Jesus. They would not tolerate his authenticity, holiness, and compassion. They would falsify his divine power of healing and preaching as blasphemy. They would not rejoice at the healing of a paralytic in today’s gospel. Instead, they search for a reason to accuse him.

5.      Jesus heals a paralytic. But in his act of healing, he says to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”. This is something controversial and abominable in the sight of the Pharisees and scribes. Healing physically may be okay but forgiving is a prerogative of God and Jesus was usurping this authority of God.

6.      But little did they realize that Jesus was not making himself equal to God. He was not grabbing something that was not his due. In fact, he is truly the Son of God, and forgiving is his due power. Jesus would thereby impel them to recognize his divine identity.

7.      Besides, Jesus wants to make it clear that the spiritual paralysis, the sickness of sin is more grievous than the physical disease. Therefore, in forgiving sins along with physical healing, Jesus draws our attention to holistic healing and health. While the paralytic was healing holistically, the Pharisees and scribes remain spiritually paralysed.

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