St. Peter Church, Charlotte, North Carolina
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke 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."
"Some men" brought this paralytic to Jesus. The paralytic has no voice in this passage. The men have great faith, they take the paralytic to the roof - and lower him through the tiles into the house! Jesus forgives their sins! And then he heals the man on the stretcher. So, there is great merit in bringing the "ill" to Jesus - he forgave the sins of the bringers before he healed the ill.
I know a lot of people who have their own version of illness, including myself. I have the opportunity to bring them to Jesus. I will pray that I be shown how to do this.
What a wonderful day I shall have today. Working all day long, then Eucharistic Adoration, then Biblical School. I love Mondays!