During the Maronite Season of Great Lent, this Sunday, March 15, commemorates the miracle of Jesus’ healing of the paralytic. The following is an excerpt taken from the Synaxarion of the Maronite Prayer of the Faithful.
“We find that Jesus had returned to Capernaum. The house he went to was probably that of Simon Peter. By morning the house was filled with people. The crowd was filled with simple believers who wanted to listen to the Master, but mingled in the crowd were members of the Sanhedrin. The members of the Sanhedrin were not pleased with the teaching of this new Master and were seeking a way to entrap him.
One of the people who had heard about Jesus’ presence in Capernaum was a paralytic. Since he was unable to go on his own, he sought the assistance of four friends who would carry him. The crowds were surrounding the house, so the men were forced to go on the roof and lower the paralytic through a hole. Such actions were proof of the faith of the paralytic and his friends.
Jesus looked at the man and said, “Child, your sins are forgiven”. However, the forgiveness of sins was the prerogative of God alone. For any man to claim to do that was an insult to God and blasphemy, punishable by death (see Leviticus 24:10). The members of the Sanhedrin who were present were afraid to confront Jesus. But Jesus read their thoughts and questioned their doubts.
Since no one could determine whether a man’s sins had been forgiven or not, Jesus performed a physical cure; he told the man to get up and walk.
Many times Jesus comes to us, visits us. He comes to us with an idea, a word we hear, a person who is suffering or joyful. However, many times we neglect to notice him. Like the paralytic, we must expend all of our efforts to take advantage of the healing presence of the Lord. Let us seek the Lord with faith and humility, asking him to cleanse us.”