Grace to you!
A man who had a past of many terrible indiscretions approached a Catholic Priest. He carried a load of guilt—that monstrous weight burdening the heart of people when they do wrong things. But, it is also the power of the voice of God within the person, indicating that something isn't right.
Guilt, within the conscience, the voice of God, the voice of morality and truth, doesn't go away unless the reason for its burden is lifted or resolved. It is like that yellow check-light in your car dashboard, which indicates something isn't right with your car engine. It could be you need to change your oil, or your catalytic converter is getting very bad. If you ignore it, what happens over a long period? It changes to red, indicating a danger zone. Finally, your car is grounded. It is comparable to what guilt does in our soul.
So, this man had guilt. He had tried everything to take it away but to no avail. He tried clinical counseling, drugs, socialization, and increased exercises. He also experimented with many things he thought would make him feel high and quiet the guilt but to no avail. After many years of dealing with guilt, he was spiritually bent over like the person with paralysis in the gospel of Mark 2:1-12. His spirit was crushed. His body was weakened by depression following the unsuccessful attempts to take care of his guilt. Finally, he gave up. He wanted to see a religious person. He wanted to try this so-called "Jesus experience."
Thank God a priest was available when he came to the parish. The priest told him right away; you do not need days of counseling; you need Jesus. He will take away your guilt. He will heal you.
"That's it?" he asked. "Yes," replied the priest. "It's that simple."
The man shares the memories of his past, now as a victor. He is healed of that guilt and a life of evil. He is a person who found a treasure in the new life in Christ. He came to realize that Jesus Christ indeed forgives sins.
For the Jews during the time of Jesus, and even now, only God can forgive sins. We Christians believe that too. So, they were surprised to hear Jesus speak to a person with paralysis, "Your sins are forgiven." Who is this man who claims to forgive sins? If Jesus could show he can, then he is God. The question was about the identity of Jesus. Is he truly God who can forgive sins?
Yes, he is. To prove to doubters, he can forgive sins, and therefore that he is God, he spoke to the person with paralysis, "Rise, take up your pallet and go home" (Mk 2:11). Immediately, in the sight of everyone, the man got up and picked up his sleeping mat and went home. For the skeptics, the one who can dramatically do such a miracle must be God as well. So, Jesus, in the most dramatic way, showed he is God who forgives sins.
There you have it. Burdened by sin and guilt? Run to the Lord Jesus Christ. He forgives. He heals.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 1: 1 Sm 8:4-7; MK 2:1-12]
Author and Goal
Father Maurice Emelu PhD., provides a daily blog of reflections based on the Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. The goal is to teach, inspire, encourage, and foster healing through the grace of God's word. They are written in a language that is appropriate for a general audience. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration, and developing your thoughts. They may also be useful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.