Today’s Gospel: Luke 5:17-26
There’s so much going on in the Healing of the Paralytic, such a cast of characters! A part of me loves this story and a part of me dreads it.
The scribes and Pharisees from surrounding villages are said to be lurking about; in your minds’ eye you can just see them huddled together, whispering accusations about Jesus and hoping to find evidence of wrongdoing. They bully their way in to the house so they can keep a close eye and ear on what happens.
The crowd of people hoping to get a glimpse of the new charismatic teacher is huge, and those seeking healing for themselves or their family can’t even get close to the door.
Two men, determined to bring their paralyzed friend to this new healer, Jesus of Nazareth, drag the stretcher bearing their friend to the rooftop, make an opening and lower him down right in front of Christ.
I can see them, sweating, exhausted, ignoring the angry cries from below. So great was their faith in Jesus’ ability to heal, they risked starting a riot and the wrath of the Jewish religious leaders to bring their friend to Christ.
Whether listening to this story at Mass, or reading at home, it’s at this point my head drops, I close my eyes and I’m filled with sadness, frustration and yes, guilt. And I know I’m not alone. I have family, friends, people I love dearly that I know, if they were to draw closer to Christ would find a healing that neither they, nor I can even imagine.
But I can’t drag them to church, I can’t force them to read the stories of Christ’s life – I can barely even speak about God at all to some of them.
So I pray. I look for movies I think they might be willing to watch with me, mostly about the saints. I try to share homilies I’ve heard that I think they might listen to and I ask, (without nagging I hope) if they would like to go to Mass with me. They’re just little things but sometimes little things make all the difference.
Where do I fit in the story of the healing of the paralytic? Do I know someone who needs to be carried to Christ? Am I the one to do it?
O Lord, I pray that the people I love – You know their names Lord, You know their hearts – may feel your presence, or hear the Holy Spirit call to them. Just once Lord, because I know that one time is all it takes to change their lives forever. Amen.
Copyright 2017 Annette Tenny
Annette K. Tenny is a freelance writer, member of the Catholic Writers Guild and a regular contributor to the Catholic News Herald, the Charlotte, NC Diocesan newspaper.
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