December 10 / Second Monday of Advent
Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. ~ Luke 5:18-19
It must have been tempting just to give up and carry him back home. First they had to make their way through the fringes of the gathering, past the scowling and skeptical members of the religious establishment. Then there was the crowd itself, jostling, sharp-elbowed, chaotically pressing forward to get a glimpse of the teacher. And in the center, out of reach, was Jesus Christ. “We’re really sorry,” the paralytic’s friends might have told him in dismay, “but we just can’t make this happen. Let’s come back another day when it is less of a hassle.” But that is not what they said. Instead, fueled by love for their friend and a determination to reach this healer, this Christ, they found another way. It could not have been easy — clambering up to remove the roof tiles, maneuvering the heavy pallet into position, carefully lowering it into the middle of the crowd, in front of Jesus. But then: healing, grace, and wholeness. In our lives, too, many obstacles block the way to the merciful and life-giving presence of Christ. There is our culture, which dismisses faith as the province of the weak or the simple-minded. There is the mob of priorities that jostles for our attention. There is our own tendency to postpone praying until another day, when it will be less of a hassle. We have a choice: we can give up or we can ask for the faith to persevere in our efforts to place ourselves in front of Christ. The paralytic and his friends show us the way.
Loving God, as we strive to reach you every day, bless us with the gift of a tenacious faith that will not be daunted.Amen.