"This man is blaspheming," so did the scribes protested among themselves as they heard Jesus declare to the paralytic: "Your sins are forgiven." Their charge of blasphemy was on account of the fact that "Only God can forgive sins." As the divinity of our Lord was kept hidden to them, they thought that our Lord had no authority to bestow the forgiveness of sins.
But of course, our Lord had authority to forgive sins. First, on account of the fact that Jesus is God, he had the authority to forgive sins. His name, Jesus, reveals who he is and what he does: He is God and He saves. Consubstantial with the Father, He is God from God, Light from Light, True God from True God. He forgives sins because He is divine.
But our Lord tells us something more: "The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins..." He tells us that not only his Divinity gives him the power to forgive sins but also his sacred Humanity. After all, his Humanity was the instrument for our salvation. In his flesh, he hung upon the Cross. His precious Blood, which he shed upon the Cross, was the price he paid for our redemption. "You were not bought at the price of any diminishable sum of silver and gold but at the price of Christ's blood, the blood of the Lamb without blemish." The price of our redemption was human blood - the human blood of the Son of God! At the last supper, our Lord made clear that his blood is "the blood of the new and everlasting covenant which will be shed for you and for the many for the forgiveness of sins."
He forgives sins because he is the God the Son. He forgives sins because as man, he shed his blood for the forgiveness of sins. Hail, Son of the Living God! Hail, Blood shedding Victim! Hail, precious Blood of the True God and the True Man!
We ought to get back the dimension of the sacred in the liturgy. The liturgy is not a festivity; it is not a meeting for the purpose of having a good time. It is of no importance that the parish priest has cudgeled his brains to come up with suggestive ideas or imaginative novelties. The liturgy is what makes the Thrice-Holy God present amongst us; it is the burning bush; it is the Alliance of God with man in Jesus Christ, who has died and risen again. The grandeur of the liturgy does not rest upon the fact that it offers an interesting entertainment, but in rendering tangible the Totally Other, whom we are not capable of summoning. He comes because He wills. In other words, the essential in the liturgy is the mystery, which is realized in the common ritual of the Church; all the rest diminishes it. Men experiment with it in lively fashion, and find themselves deceived, when the mystery is transformed into distraction, when the chief actor in the liturgy is not the Living God but the priest or the liturgical director. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Chile, 1988)
Do we still need sacred space, sacred time, mediating symbols? Yes, we do need them, precisely so that, through the "image," through the sign, we learn to see the openness of heaven. We need them to give us the capacity to know the mystery of God in the pierced heart of the Crucified. - Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger (Spirit of the Liturgy )