I love today’s first reading from Isaiah 35 for the admonition that God gives. It is one that I hope you and I will follow every day. “Strengthen the hands that are feeble, make firm the knees that are weak, say to those whose hearts are frightened: Be strong, fear not! Here is your God, he comes with vindication; with diving recompense he comes to save you.”
In the Gospel reading today from Luke 5, we read the story of some guys who have a friend who is paralyzed. They want to try to bring their friend to Jesus, but the house that Jesus is in is so crowded that they can’t get through. So what do they do? Give up? Hardly! They take their friend (on his stretcher) on to the roof and lower him into the house. Jesus forgives the man’s sins, and then heals him. Of course, the scribes and Pharisees present were put off that Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven.
There are so many aspects to this story, but I want to concentrate on the friends of the paralytic. It must have been pretty hard work for them to get their friend on that roof. And in reality, there was nothing in it for them. Yet they brought their friend to Jesus. Why? Because they loved him. They cared so much about him that they did whatever it took to get their friend to Jesus. I wonder – are you that kind of friend? That kind of family member? Do we love and care about our friends and family enough that we will do whatever it takes to get them to Jesus? I can only hope…
Father, give us the grace and the fortitude to bring our loved ones to Jesus, especially those most in need of His healing touch. Amen.