After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And there people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
“Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.”
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
“This man is blaspheming.”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
“Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? Mt 9:1-8
There is the gospel blurb of the day, and today is the memorial of the first martyrs of Rome. Those are the martyrs slaughtered by Emperor Nero. The scribes challenge Jesus forgiveness of sins. Intuitively I suggest that most can see how forgiveness can allow a paralytic to walk again. Metaphysically of course. Most can recognize the crippling effect of sin on one’s life, and forgiveness allows for a change. It grants the cripple a new lease on life. What though of the slaughter instituted by evil Nero? Whom does the forgiveness of sins set free in this instance? I suspect, and this is only opinion, it sets free the Christian witnesses of the horrors of Nero. Even though they did not commit the atrocity, the forgiveness of the perpetrators sets those innocent witnesses free. It frees them from a crippling event, it frees them from wallowing in the degenerate horrors of the likes of Nero. It allows them to move on. To run away from injustice, and in doing so to sprint towards a heavenly reward. Pray for those that witness life’s horrors, that they might find the forgiveness to set their own souls free, so that they need not succumb to a satanic advance. The forgiveness of sin is the victory of Christ. Amen…