January 15.  Mr Msimang explained to the young teens, “In Jesus’ day people believed that sin by someone in the family was responsible for disabilities. So that is why Jesus said, ‘your sins are forgiven.’ He showed the scribes that he had the power to heal and to forgive sin.  In our situation with the coronavirus today, can we say that sin has been the cause?  It may not be personal sin but surely there is social sin at play here?”  Joelene was quietly thinking to herself, “Surely God has the power and he could have intervened directly when my best friend’s father caught it?    

When they could not get near Jesus because of the crowd they removed the roof and let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.  When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Child, your sins are forgiven.” The scribes questioned Jesus in their hearts. Jesus asked “Why do you question?  Which is easier to say, ‘your sins are forgiven or to say, “rise, take up your pallet and walk,’ but that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins, he said to the paralytic, ‘Rise take up your pallet and go home.’” Mark 2:1-12. 

Pope Francis:   I do not want to speak of divine retribution nor would it be sufficient to say that the harm we do to nature is itself the punishment for our offences. The world is itself crying out in rebellion.  FT34.  The violence present in our hearts, wounded by sin, is also reflected in the symptoms of sickness evident in the soil in the water, in the air and in all forms of life.  LS2.   Reflect and share.