Daily Bible Reading
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Luke 5:17-26.
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set (him) in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus.
When he saw their faith, he said, "As for you, your sins are forgiven."
Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, "Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, "What are you thinking in your hearts?
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 said to the man who was paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God.
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, "We have seen incredible things today."
Copyright © Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, USCCB
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"Who but God alone can forgive sins?"
Saint Aelred of Rielvaux (1110-1167), Cistercian monk
Sermon for the Nativity
Unhappy Adam! What more could you possibly seek than the divine presence? Yet see how thanklessly you ponder your misdeed: “No! I will be like God!” (cf. Gen 3:5). What insufferable pride! You have only just been created out of clay and mud and, in your insolence, you want to be like God?... This is how pride brought forth disobedience, the reason for our misfortune...
What humility is there that could make amends for such a pride? What human obedience is there that could redeem such a fault? Captives that we were, how could we set captives free? Tainted, how could we liberate those stained by sin? Is your creature to die, then, my God? “Have you forgotten pity? Do you in anger withhold your compassion?” (Ps 77:10). Ah no! “My thoughts are thoughts of peace, not of woe”, says the Lord (Jer 29:11).
O Lord, make haste, come quickly! Behold the tears of the poor; see, “the sighs of the prisoners come before you” (Ps 79:11). What a happy time it will be, what a glad and desirable day, when the voice of the Father resounds: “Because of the misery of the wretched and the tears of the poor, now will I arise” (Ps 12:6)... Yes, “Come yourself to save us, Lord, for there are no longer any more saints” (cf. Ps 12:2).