Sometimes our world is indeed paralytic – unable to stand up and go where it needs to, incapable of finding the proper direction ...
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The daring miracle we find in today’s Gospel sheds light on the believer’s relationship with the rest of the world.
Let’s start from the beginning: Jesus walks into a house. His presence and his word immediately bring everyone in, and soon enough there is no longer any room left – not even for the paralytic. However, those who carry this man’s stretcher on their shoulders are not willing to give up. They climb onto the roof, look for the exact spot where Jesus is, remove the roof, and lower this man down: “When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
Sometimes our world is indeed paralytic – unable to stand up and go where it needs to, incapable of finding the proper direction to walk toward … desperate, faithless, prayerless. But four friends are enough to bring a change into this paralytic’s situation.
The Church is there whenever there are friends who, with their faith, find a way to bring our world before God. Their prayer, their testimony, their sacrifices, their creativity, their missionary spirit gain forgiveness for it. Being forgiven means being put in a position to be able to start over, to get back on the road, to have another chance. As long as there are such believers, this world is not totally lost – it will still have a chance.
We must not resign ourselves. On the contrary, we need to be creative, like the men carrying the paralytic’s mat. This is the missionary spirit that should animate us.
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.