Could it have been this way ?
He couldn’t walk, he couldn't even stand. He was a paraplegic his legs no longer could bear his weight.
He probably had to drag himself from place to place. It must have been humiliating to do so.
Maybe he begged along the roads to support himself, whatever the case may be, he was dependent on others very dependent.
He desperately needed the assistance of friends and family to do even the most mundane of things, things that we all take for granted everyday.
His moods vacillated from quiet resign, to frustration, to guilt. “Was he or his family somehow responsible for his plight ?” he often wondered.
There were moments of hope and moments of despair. He seemed to move through them daily like so many who are burdened with a chronic illness or challenge.
However, he was not completely self absorbed or isolated by his illness or handicap or addiction.
He left room in his life for others.
He loved his family and he loved his friends they loved him. They loved him enough to desire to carry him.
When his family or friends, found out that the new Rabbi was home in town they, they went to their friend.
“We want to take you to the Teacher,” they said,
”We’ve heard he has the power to heal.”
He knew It wouldn't be easy and that day maybe he just didn’t have the strength or the desire to try again. He had hoped so many times for a cure and none ever came.
They coaxed him and pleaded with him “This time it may be different” they said, “Maybe this Rabbi can really heal you. Please let us take you to him. Please!” they begged him.
Finally maybe more out of fatigue than faith he allowed them to put him a mat and carry him to Jesus.
Their hearts must have sank when the saw the crowd. “First we had to beg to bring him here, then we had to carry him, and now we can’t even get near to the Rabbi.” They said to themselves.
But just before anyone had the courage to say, ”let’s go home.” One of them dared to hope and said… “We can’t give up, let’s lower him through the roof. We can do it. I won’t be easy but we didn’t come all this way to turn back.”
And so two of them climbed up on the roof and began to remove the palm frans or boards. People started yelling at them to stop. “What are you doing taking apart the teachers house?” They yelled. The men were not deterred. They carefully lifted up their friend and lowered him down in the middle of the crowd next to Jesus. All eyes were on Him.
When Jesus saw them he was not worried about the hole in the roof. He was impressed, and deeply touched by the love that these men had for their friend.
He was also touched that the paralytic after so many disappointments had allowed himself to hope again even just a little.
And so moved was Jesus that he simply said “Your sins are forgiven… take up your mat and walk” and the man was healed.
His friends who were probably still looking down from the hole in the roof were filled with joy.
They too had dared to hope. They too had dared to believe.
For those of us who are wounded or sick or afraid or addicted or handicapped or depressed or whatever… This Gospel should challenge us to hope and to keep hoping. It should challenge us to hold on to even the tiniest hope.
We can never allow ourselves to forget that God loves us and when we place our complete trust in Him He will always act in our best interest.
Sometimes that means carrying the cross of suffering or illness, sometimes it means that God will heal us both in body and soul. Whatever the case may be God loves us.
For the rest of us each and everyone of us is surrounded by people who are sick, or lonely or need some kind of healing.
None of us can say that we don’t know people who are addicted or depressed or afraid or burdened with illness.
They are the people we live with and work with. They are the people we love, people we’ve met, people we’ve encountered along life’s journey.
This Gospel should challenge us to ask ourselves.
Do we have enough love to do what those four men did for their friend?
Do we have enough faith?
Or when there are obstacles in our path like the crowd around Jesus do we simply give up and go home?
Today the Gospel presents us with a very beautiful example of friendship.
Friendships or relationships are very important on every college campus and throughout our lives.
The Gospel today challenges us to ask ourselves, do our friendships make us better people?
Do our friendships help us be healed from our burdens?
Are our friends better people because of our relationship with them?
Why or why not ?
I guess you could sum up the reflection and this Gospel with a couple simple questions.
Have I ever allowed myself to be carried?
Have we ever carried someone to Christ?
Who have we dared to carry to Jesis
Who have we carried ?