And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed;
they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof
and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
into the middle in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
“As for you, your sins are forgiven.” — Luke 5: 18-20
What lengths would you go to to express your faith in Jesus?
When the rich man asked what he must do to follow Christ, he became despondent and left at the notion of willfully leaving behind his wealth.
In this Gospel, however, when the men carrying the stretcher were prevented from seeking out the Lord, they knew they couldn’t give up. They trusted. Taking extreme measures, they carried the stretcher to the top of the building to lower the paralyzed man into the house through the roof.
Imagine the look of delight on Christ’s face as he peered up through the hole in the ceiling. There, standing literally on the periphery, these men were forgiven of their sins.
The Pharisees, on the other hand, waited in no line to get in. From their seats of authority they cast doubt on Christ and Jesus corrects them, but he does not forgive.
As the Christmas season approaches there will always be those who cast doubt on or attack our beliefs, but it is the duty of the faithful to persevere and find a way to reach the sanctity of Christ.
In this passage, we see a real example of how the last will be first and the first will be last. It’s a matter of trust.
May our prayer of petition
rise before you, we pray, O Lord,
that, with purity unblemished,
we, your servants, may come, as we desire,
to celebrate the great mystery
of the Incarnation of your Only Begotten Son.
Who lives and reigns with you in the unity
of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.