Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (2: 1-12) in which the friends of the paralytic lower him through the roof of the house where Jesus is speaking.

Fr Paul says one of the central themes in the Gospels from Mark we have heard this week is the authority of Jesus, and so it is again today. In today’s Gospel we see a double cure: a man is cured of his sin and, as well as that, he is cured of his disease.

Mark often puts one story between two halves of another story. In other words, he sandwiches them.  In today’s Gospel the forgiveness of the sins of this man is in the middle – it’s the meat in the sandwich. We hear of the scribes, who happen to be there; they are scandalised by what Jesus does; in their eyes only God can forgive sin; and, so the authority of Jesus continues to grow and grow until the only possible conclusion is that this is God among us.

Mindful of the growing authority of Jesus and the power he has to forgive sin, Fr Paul says we might reflect today, ‘Have I forgiven others who have hurt me? Have I forgiven myself for things I have done that harmed myself? Have I recently asked for God’s forgiveness?’