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Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus heals a paralytic, but not before first forgiving his sins: “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.’” Jesus read the hearts of scribes who had decided he was blaspheming, and so he replied, “Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?” When no reply came, Jesus sent the man off home carrying his stretcher.

The story affirms that Jesus offers us forgiveness and healing. Even though we are sinners, even though we are hopeless in our hatred and stupidity, even though we had gone (and would still go today) to the limits of killing God’s own son, God still loves us; God still forgives us. We know that nothing can possibly separate us from the love of God because we hear in the greeting of the risen Jesus that any and every sin can be forgiven.