(I mistakenly put this down as the homily for yesterday, so we must hear it again.)
St. Mark also told this story of Jesus curing the paralytic, and his version of the event is richer.
(Although Matthew’s Gospel comes before Mark’s in our Bibles, Mark wrote his Gospel ten years before Matthew’s, and Matthew sometimes gave us a cut-down version of events recorded by Mark.)
According to Mark, when the friends of the paralyzed man brought him to the synagogue where Jesus was teaching, there was such a crowd inside and outside that there seemed to be no way for getting close to Jesus.
But the friends of the paralyzed man found a way. They hoisted the man’s stretcher up on to the roof. Then, after clearing away the roofing tiles, they lowered the man on the stretcher right down in front of where Jesus was teaching.
Jesus said, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
The Pharisees seated behind Jesus snatched at those words, saying to themselves that since only God can forgive sins, Jesus had committed an impeachable offence. They could convict him of blasphemy.
The friends of the paralyzed man were disappointed, since they wanted a cure, not some pious words.
The paralyzed man, however, was sure that it was his sinfulness that brought on the paralysis, so he felt greatly relieved that this guilt was removed.
Jesus, hearing the grumbling of the Pharisees, told the man to get up and walk. He told him to carry his stretcher home with him, and that was something he was very happy to do.