Eighteenth Sunday After Pentecost The Gospel Matt. 9. v. 1. Tuesday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634
GOSPEL Matt. 9:1-8
At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into his own city. And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: "Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee." And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: "He blasphemeth." And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: "Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, Arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins," (then said he to the man sick of the palsy,) "Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house." And he arose, and went into his house. And the multitude seeing it, feared, and glorified God that gave such power to men.
Jesus seeing their faith, that is to say, the faith of them that carried the palsy man, and let him down through the Tiles of the house &c.
Their Faith was, they were persuaded, Christ of his power was able to cure him, and of his clemency and goodness willing, which made up a confident faith and faithful confidence in him, wherein they joined a friendly love and brotherly compassion to so what they could to place him in the presence of Christ (notwithstanding the great press and throng of people, & the sick man’s impotency, that he must be carried) which their brotherly love and pity, moved Christ to pity him, and not only to cure his bodily disease, but also to cure his soul of his sins, which was far the greater benefit of the two.
Hereby we may learn, that as Christ here, in regard that these four men that carried this Palsy man, and he himself had a great faith, and confidence in him (for so they had, else they would never have taken the pains to have carried him, nor he permitted himself to be carried) seeing their faith as the text saith, accepted thereof, together with their charitable endeavor, and cured him: So God accepteth the faith, & merits one for another of them that be of the dame Catholic Faith, and religion, especially if they of their charity apply it accordingly: and though they have the greater participation thereof, that are out of mortal sin; yet they also that be in mortal sin, so they be found in faith, which maketh them members together under Christ their head, shall have this benefit, to be raised the rather out of their ins: for as in a natural body, there are many members, and every member serveth for the whole body, as well as for itself, namely the eye seeth for the whole body, the feet walk for the whole body, the mouth feedeth for the whole body; so is it in the mystical body of the holy Catholic Church, whereof Christ is the head and the holy Ghost the soul.
This participation among the members of the Catholic Church, is called the Communion of Saints, or, of holy persons, or, of holy things, or, of all three together: for so the Latin word (Sanctorum) which we translate, the communion of Saints, in the Creed, will signify, and it is put next after, I believe the holy Catholic Church, and immediately before the remission of Sins. The first to signify there is such a Communion in the Catholic Church, between the members themselves, and the parts thereof, to wit, the Church Triumphant in heaven, militant here on earth, & patient or suffering in Purgatory.
The other that this Communion, besides the participation of prayers, merits, sufferings, & good works of them that are members of the Church, by faith, and out of mortal sin, availeth much to raise them up that be in it.