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Advent Monday 2 - The healing of the paralytic

Monday, December 10, 2007
‘Courage! Do not be afraid. Look your God is coming.’ These words of Isaiah are full of hope and encouragement. The Lord is coming to save us; we have nothing to fear.

There are many situations when people might be afraid. One could try to image the fears of the people in today’s Gospel – the paralysed man and his companions. Life must have been almost impossible for them. Hearing of the miracles that Jesus worked must have given them a glimmer of hope, but imagine the disappointment they must have felt when they found that the large crowd prevented them from meeting Jesus. Perhaps they feared that Jesus wouldn’t notice them. Maybe they wondered whether Jesus’ healing is something that just happens to other people. They were desperate, and entering through the roof was an act of desperation.

Jesus, seeing their faith, forgives their sins and heals them.

In this Advent season, we might ask ourselves how desperate we are to meet Jesus. In today’s psalm we hear that the Lord’s help is near for those who fear him. Do we have the right kind of fear of God, that loving reverence, that deep desire never to be separated from Him, the realisation of our total dependence on Him and the huge price of our redemption?

The paralysed man and his companions give us an ideal model for Christian fellowship. As Christians, we are not just concerned with our own personal salvation, but the Holy Spirit acting in our lives helps those around us to come close to God and be filled by the same Spirit.

Robert Verrill OP


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