Today’s Gospel: Mark 2:1-12 – Memorial of St. Anthony, abbot
“With a Little Help From My Friends” was a popular song decades ago, yet the message still resonates today. How many times have you felt as if you could not go on, and yet you found the courage to do so, thanks to a friend or two?
The paralytic in the second chapter of Mark could not see Jesus on his own. He desperately needed the help of his friends to carry him to the Lord. These were, in fact, super friends — they were willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, lowering the paralytic through the roof in order that he might receive healing.
Jesus’ first words to the paralytic are unexpected, yet powerful: “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
I have many times longed to hear similar words in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I find that, at times, I am paralyzed by my sins, unable to move forward because of the detritus in my soul. Yet, when I hear the priest offer absolution, I am free to walk again with Jesus by my side.
No doubt, Jesus astounded the crowd when He said to the paralytic “Rise, pick up your mat, and go home.” What joy the man must have experienced when he was able to finally break free of his malady, rising and going forward with hope in his heart. The crowd responded, “We have never seen anything like this.”
What incredible miracles await us, when we are willing to help our friends experience the healing power of God? I am reminded of all the times my prayer group lifted me up when I had fallen into an abyss of near-despair. Their prayers carried me to Jesus, where I could once again experience his loving touch. May you experience the same!
Can you recall a moment in your life when your friends “carried” you to Christ?
Dear Jesus, please show me how I might lead a special friend to You, one who craves Your healing power.
Copyright 2020 Maria V. Gallagher
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