Scripture: Lectionary # 182. Monday of Second week of Advent. Isaiah 35:1-10. Psalm 85:9-10. 11-12.13-14. Luke 5:17-26:
In some ways, our Advent readings seem to throw us into a whirlwind of exuberance, joy, healing, and peace. This is felt in the poetic and idyllic manner in which Isaiah prophesizes about the future. All of creation is responding positively and things are going to be all right for everyone; even the foreigners and Gentile nations are under his spell of joy and peace. We ask ourselves in the world of today are these things really going to happen? Certainly, we do not take Isaiah literally. Yet, we know that during the time of Jesus, the blind were healed, the lame walk again, the deaf hear, and the Good News is being preached and taught to everyone who listens and has “ears to hear.”
The Gospel of today confirms that Jesus has the power to heal and to save. Do I believe this? I do. The great example of the friends of the paralytic gives me courage to continue believing in the power of God in Jesus to work miracles especially in the hearts of people.
Jesus shows us that he not only heals the paralytic but places him in the graces of God by forgiving his sins. Naturally, the miracle was witnessed by the onlookers both the skeptics and the believers, but to save one from one’s sins, that only is possible for God. Jesus, of course, is able to do this as the Son of God. We yearn for such double graces in our own spiritual and physical life. Jesus keeps urging us never to give up in our trust and our faith in the power of the Spirit working in Jesus and in us.
Luke himself as a theologian-evangelist tells us that Jesus was able to do this healing and saving because of the Holy Spirit, the power of God, working within him. The Spirit overshadowed Mary and Jesus was able to be born of her as his Virgin-Mother. This is at the center of the season of Advent and Christmas, namely, the Incarnation of Jesus in and through the flesh and blood of Mary his mother who is totally human. This same Spirit guides us through the chaos and uncertainty we see about us. Like the paralytic we also have friends who witness the faith they have in Jesus and they help us by their strong belief in him. We need such friends to bolster our own faith which leads us to understand we are not alone. The Lord Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. We look to Jesus for our healing and our forgiveness this Advent.
This season of Advent is for real and so are the messages that we receive from the texts of Isaiah, the Psalmist, and Luke. We just need to ponder them over like Mary and the idealism of the text will come alive and change us. Amen.
Copyright 2012 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.