< <  

Friday, January 15, 1999

  > >
Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Psalm 78:3, 4, 6-7, 8
Mark 2:1-12

View Readings
Similar Reflections

stretching it

"While He was delivering God's word to them, some people arrived bringing a paralyzed man to Him." —Mark 2:3

Put yourself in the place of the paralyzed man who was carried on a mat to Jesus. Mats, as they were made two thousand years ago, were not as manageable and sturdy as stretchers are today. Also, being carried by four people doesn't make for a smooth ride. Moreover, if a paralytic would fall off a mat, he would not be able to break his fall. To make matters worse, the paralyzed man was carried up the outside steps of the house where Jesus was. These steps were probably not as even as those we are used to, and being carried on a stretcher up steps is always precarious. Imagine how the paralyzed man felt when he saw his friends dismantling the roof. Imagine being lowered through a hole in a roof with your friends holding on to the ends of your mat or possibly using ropes, rags, or a sheet to lower you. This is enough to give someone a heart attack, especially if he's already paralyzed. Finally, the paralyzed man was a sinner (Mk 2:5). This doesn't help a person have courage and faith. However, when Jesus commanded the paralyzed man to stand up, pick up his mat, and go home, the man obeyed and was healed (Mk 2:11-12).

God's grace is sufficient, even in all our weaknesses (2 Cor 12:9). Will you be the next one to get on the stretcher to be carried to Jesus?

Prayer:  Father, do in me what You must in order to do through me what You will.

Promise:  "They were awestruck; all gave praise to God, saying, 'We have never seen anything like this!' " —Mk 2:12

Praise:  Despite their initial low income, Ken and his wife pledged to give alms of well exceeding ten percent of their gross income to the Lord early in their marriage. They have faithfully kept this pledge for over thirty years, giving over a million dollars to build up the kingdom of God.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert J. Buschmiller, June 11, 1998

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, July 20, 1998