As you prepare for this retreat, pause for a few moments and focus your attention on your breathing. Take several long, deep breaths. Be aware of God's loving presence within you.
"Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise, pick up your mat and walk?' But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth" -he said to the paralytic, "I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home." He rose, picked up his mat at once, and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, "We have never seen anything like this."
Everyone listening to Jesus that day knew that only God had the authority to forgive sins. Suspicion and judgment filled the minds and hearts of those present. Who was this man standing before them? Jesus used the opportunity to heal the man and to show his power to forgive sins. The man, who had desired only physical healing from Jesus, went away with so much more. His faith and trust, and that of his friends, were the catalyst for his spiritual healing. His mat, once a place of confinement, became a reminder of his encounter with God in the person of Jesus. Like the man who was paralyzed, when we approach Jesus in faith, we give him the opportunity to surprise us with so much more.
Is there something confining me today that I can ask Jesus to heal?
When have I encountered God's healing forgiveness? How did that experience change me?
(Speak to Jesus, using these words or words of your own.)
Jesus, you forgave the sins of the man who was paralyzed, and all who witnessed it glorified God. Grant me the grace to give glory to you by witnessing to your forgiving love.