Chrysostom on the Paralytic

Attention patristibloggers!  

St. John Chrysostom has a nice riff on Christ healing the paralytic taken from today’s Gospel reading for Holy Mass in the Novus Ordo (Matthew 9:1-8):

Only God could know what is in another’s mind.  That Jesus has this knowledge is attested from many evidences.  Jesus shows here that he is truly God and equal to the One by whom he is begotten.  He does this by revealing and making clear to them what they were thinking.  Indeed, some were debating within themselves the very issue of whether Jesus is nothing less than God.  But because they were afraid of the crowd, they did not dare to bring their opinion out into the open.  He revealed their thoughts while showing great restraint when he said, “Why do you ponder evil thoughts in your hearts?”

And surely if there was any cause to be annoyed it would have been felt by the suffering paralytic, because it seemed that he had been almost completely bypassed.  Imagine him complaining, as if he were thinking: “I came to receive healing, but now you are talking about my sins being forgiven.  How do you know this?  Why do you change the subject?”  But in fact the paralytic now says nothing of the sort.  Rather, he gives himself over to the authority of the One who heals.

But those who are malicious and all too full of themselves are always plotting against the good works of others.  Therefore he chides them but does so in all fairness, as if to say, “For if you disbelieved in my first statement and thought that it was boasting, consider that I am adding something else to it: the revelation of your secrets.  (Homily of Matthew 29.2 in NPNF 1 10:196-97)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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