Today, we hear about a group of friends who bring a paralytic to Jesus for healing. Jesus sees the faith of this group of friends and he forgives the sins of the paralytic. Notice it is not the faith of the paralytic himself that saves him. Jesus later tells this man to rise, pick up his mat, and to go. So many people came to Jesus for healing in his day, and so many come to him for healing in our modern era as well. We are always looking for a cure for something in our lives. Sometimes we look in so many different places for healing in our lives, often times in the places where we should not be looking for help. Jesus brings healing to many people in Ancient Israel, healing that is often done because of their great faith, such as Jairus and the lady who was suffering from hemorrhages for 12 years.
We want healing in our lives. We want mercy in our lives as well. It can be easy to ask for mercy for ourselves. It might be harder to understand why others should receive mercy. Instead, we may want justice as we understand justice, justice from our perspective. Yet Pope Francis has this to say: “Justice on its own is not enough. With mercy and forgiveness, God goes beyond justice, he subsumes it and exceeds it in a higher event in which we experience love, which is at the root of true justice.” When we are hurt or wronged, it is natural to seek justice. God shows us a better way that leads to love. God had mercy on the paralytic and his friends. Perhaps if it was just purely justice, there might have been a very different Gospel passage. Let us pray this week that we can help move our world beyond justice to mercy and forgiveness. May the mercy of God and the wisdom of Pope Francis guide us and lead us.