Isaiah 35: 1-10
Luke 5: 17-26


In our Gospel today our attention is drawn to the power with which Jesus reads the situation in which he finds himself. He is teaching and a large crowd has gathered, among them Pharisees and doctors of the Law. The scene changes when some men lower a man through the roof in front of Jesus. His friends have brought him to Jesus presumably for physical healing and we are told the crowd was so great that they could not get near Jesus. This did not stop them, they simply found another way, through the roof. Jesus made an immediate response with ‘your sins are forgiven.’ Jesus can read the thoughts of his critics and claims his authority to forgive by instructing the man to pick up his mat and walk. To the surprise of all present the man got up and walked away praising God.

What we notice in this Gospel is, first the creativity of the friends, when they could not find a way through the milling crowds, they find another way of bringing their friend to Jesus. We too, are invited to use our imaginations and creativity for service. So often we stop with what we know and give up instead of finding another way. We need to use our creativity and imagination, gifts so needed today, for sharing the good news. We are told that Jesus recognised the faith of the man’s friends, but there is no mention of the man on the stretcher having faith. However, he must have had trust in his friends to allow them to carry him, a trust that was rewarded and led him to an encounter with Jesus, an experience which changed him and led him to go home praising God.

The next time we meet an obstacle or a disappointment let’s look for another way and let’s take to heart the beautiful words from Isaiah in the first reading and be able by our actions and words to say to say to one another ‘Courage! Do not be afraid, look your God is coming……..he is coming to save you.’ Then we wait to see the ‘everlasting joy on the faces’ of all. Don’t we all long to see the joy on the faces of the hostages and on the many people who are struggling whom we bring to Jesus in our thoughts and prayers. Let us pray that sorrow and lament will be ended in all those places of conflict and war in our world and let’s be willing too, to ask questions about the causes and pray for justice.

Sr. Brigid Murphy CP
Sisters of the Cross & Passion,