Reflection by Sister M. Albertine Stachowski, CSSF
Today’s Gospel delivers a serious message … but it is entertaining. Imagine being at a gathering and having a guest arrive through the roof! Consider the effort it would take … the motivation … the confidence that it actually could get done! And … how would the other guests react?
We can look at what is happening in this Gospel passage … from at least five different perspectives: that of Jesus … the paralyzed man … his four friends … the crowd … and the scribes. What is each seeing … thinking … doing?
We know the scribes can’t get past the doubt they have as to who Jesus really is. The crowd is astonished. Jesus is compassionate and takes action … but is controversial in forgiving sins. The four friends … well they are filled with faith and are limitless in the pursuit of Jesus … and the paralyzed man … somewhat passive as he is physically and spiritually unable to function on his own. Each role in this story has the potential to be life changing.
This story should awaken in us the knowledge that we can be paralyzed spiritually when we fall short or refuse to love God … ourselves … or our neighbors. It also gives us an appreciation for those around us … who have enough faith and confidence to help bring us to freedom from paralysis … to open up the barriers between us and Jesus.
The Gospel also focuses our attention on Jesus as the healer of our bodies … hearts … minds … and souls. Jesus is in our midst … we just need to present ourselves before Him to be healed. He forgives … resurrects us from our mats and provides a new start … vigor and potential.
May our faith and persistence be life changing and bring us and others to the healing and forgiving presence of Jesus.