Homily for Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Readings for Today

I do not like being dependent on others. While there are times when it is a good thing, there are also times where I do too many things myself when I would be better to let others help. And so the thought of having to be carried anywhere, to be so dependent upon others that I could not go anywhere without being carried by others, is not in any way an enjoyable situation for me. Every day, day after day, this man is carried to beg. Not only is he dependent upon others to move, he is also dependent upon others for sustenance. Were it not for others, the man would likely die.

But on the day we encounter this man, it is not the same old day. Today, he is carried into the presence of Peter and John, newly emboldened by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the new life of Jesus. While the focus of the story is the man healed, I find myself wondering about those that carried the man to the Beautiful Gate. Were these the same people as yesterday? Did they carry this man every day? What is it they hoped would happen for the man they carried each day? Were those who carried the man honest, or were they the type who might take some of what the man received in donations? Were they people who had cared for this man his whole life? Were they people filled with generosity? Were they themselves poor?

We simply do not know. What we do know is that on this day those who carried the man made possible for him a special encounter with God. Whether they were kind or not, what they did put the man in a place where Peter and John could make something miraculous possible in his life.

Continue reading

Homily for Friday, January 16, 2015

Readings for Today

Who is it that you carry to Jesus? I am intrigued by the people who carried the paralytic and lowered him through the roof to Jesus. This was no easy task. First, they needed to carry the paralytic to the roof. Then, they needed to dig through the roof (it was probably a mixture of branches, leaves and mud). Lastly, there was the task of lowering the paralytic through the hole that was dug out of the roof, to place him near Jesus.

Can you imagine the scene? Both from the outside, watching this process unfold, and from the inside, where pieces of dirt fell to the floor surely caused those on the inside to wonder exactly what was going on. But for Jesus, all of this is clear. It is the faith, both of those who brought the paralytic and the paralytic himself that occasions the healing. Jesus sees their faith, and the effort they exerted because of this faith, and forgave sins, the most important type of healing God provides. But the forgiveness of sins causes great distress. And so, to create an occasion so that others might come to faith, Jesus tells the man to pick up his mat and walk. This Jesus is more than amazing. He has the power to forgive sins!

We know little about the relationship between the people who brought the paralytic. Were they friends? Neighbors? Relatives? Bystanders? Had they been convinced by the paralytic to get involved, or were those who carried the paralytic moved by their love for the paralytic? It is not clear. But what is clear, was the noticeable faith that Jesus could do something for the paralytic.

Continue reading