In today’s readings we see two reminders that power and authority come from God, not from men. If we do any good work on the Lord’s behalf it is because the Lord empowers us to do so. In today’s First Reading the priest Amaziah trash talks the prophet Amos and implies that he has come to Bethel as a prophet as a career change, not a mission from the Lord. Even if the Northern Kingdom did not have faith in Amos, events would show that he had been sent by the Lord: everything he prophesied in today’s First Reading came to pass.
In today’s Gospel the main wonder is not that Our Lord could heal a paralytic. The healing of a paralytic is a sign ratifying the true teaching of the day: that the ministry and power of forgiveness could be entrusted to a man. When Our Lord uses the expressions “Son of man” and “authority on earth” he is not referring to his divine power to forgive, but his human authority entrusted to him by his Father as part of his mission on earth. The crowds understand perfectly: they glorify God for giving “such authority to men.” This ministry of reconciliation continues in the Church even today, but through the power and authority given by the Lord.
Our Lord has blessed us with many means to know his will and to be reconciled with him and with others. Let’s glorify him today for all the good he has done for us through his ministers.
Readings: Amos 7:10–17; Psalm 19:8–11; Matthew 9:1–8. See also 1st Week in Ordinary Time, Friday, 2nd Week of Advent, Monday, 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B, and 13th Week in Ordinary Time, Thursday.