Second Week of Advent
Gospel: Lk 5: 17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing. 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.” Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”– he said to the one who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.” He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
FAITH OF A COMMUNITY MOVES GOD: The power of the faith of a community is manifested in the gospel of the day. Jesus says that faith can move the mountain but a collective faith can move God too. Hence, the faith of a community is more powerful. When Jesus cured the paralytic, the Pharisees and teachers of law, who were waiting to find fault with Jesus, were also moved towards God. They began praising God. It shows that the exercise of faith can move the enemies too towards God. Faith removes sin and sickness. Jesus says to the sick man, “Your sins are forgiven.” From this, one can understand that the sins are the causes of illness. However, science says that virus/bacteria also cause illness. The diseases like cancer, diabetes and pressure are considered incurable because they are not caused by virus. But with God, all is curable.
PRAYER: Lord, help us to grow in faith as a community and express our faith in prayer and action.
WHEN JESUS SAW THEIR FAITH…: In the Gospels, faith is often an important prerequisite for a miracle. It is assumed that faith is expected from the recipient of the miracle. In the story of today, it is amazing to see that Jesus performs the miracle seeing their faith – the faith of the four men who were carrying the paralytic person. What was their faith, or how was it expressed? They really wanted to have access to the presence of Jesus for the sake of the sick man; but the door was blocked. They did not say, today is not his day, bad luck for him! They found an alternative, the roof. That was the tangible expression of their faith. Christmas is really a time to see Jesus, to have access to his presence, to have a personal encounter with him. May be the door seems blocked because of our busy schedule, because of our many engagements, because of the noise and the crowd around. May we find an alternative, the roof. May we have the courage not to give up. Let our faith make us available to the experience of God.