I don’t know about you, but I so love the Advent readings from the Prophet Isaiah. They are filled with so much beauty and hope. “Then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing.” In the Gospel reading today from Luke 5, we see a healing of a paralyzed man. Now, it doesn’t say that he leapt like a stag, but I’m sure he probably could have after receiving a healing from Jesus!
The story goes like this. Jesus is in a crowded house. Some men bring one of their paralyzed friends on a stretcher to be healed. They can’t get into the house, so they improvise. They go up on the roof, remove part of the roof and lower their friend down to Jesus. Jesus heals him. But the Scripture reveals that this is the story of not just the faith of one man, but of friends, of a community. “When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’ ” Notice the plural, THEIR faith.
Today’s story is one of real friendship. These guys went out of their way for a friend. They didn’t have to take him up on the roof. They could have turned around and said, “Sorry, pal. We can’t get you to Jesus.” But they did whatever it took to help a friend get to Jesus. Are we willing to do the same for our friends, our family? Do whatever it takes to get them to Jesus? It may require great sacrifice on our parts. But I guess that’s what real love is all about.
Father, help us to do whatever it takes to lead others to Jesus. May our faith be a help to our friends and others. Amen.