Today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 9 has one of the best stories of faith ever. Only it is the faith of a man’s friends that saves him.
Jesus is in a crowded house. Four men climb up on the roof with their paralyzed friend on his mat. They lower him through the roof to get to Jesus. THROUGH THE ROOF!! When Jesus sees this kind of faith, He says to the paralytic, “Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.” Eventually He heals the man’s body, too. That’s an interesting part of the story I hope you’ll read.
It is always a good practice, I think, to put ourselves in the place of people in the stories we read in Scripture. So, who are you in this story? Most of the time, I see myself as the paralyzed man. I’m the one who is all broken and in need of Jesus’ healing touch. But today, I want to see myself as one of the four friends. These were selfless people who knew in their heart of hearts that Jesus could and would heal their friend. You know, we can be that kind of friend today. We don’t have to lift any mats or climb any roofs. All we need to do is to get on our knees, and bring our friends who need healing to Jesus. Imagine it…all the blessings without the backbreaking labor!
Father, we thank you for the gift of faith, and the gift of friendship. Give us the grace to bring our friends to Jesus today; if not through the roof, then on our knees. Amen.