December 5, 2016
Monday of the Second Week in Advent
The Gospel Today
One day as Jesus was teaching,
Pharisees and teachers of the law,
who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem,
were sitting there,
and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed;
they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence.
But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd,
they went up on the roof
and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles
into the middle in front of Jesus.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said,
“As for you, your sins are forgiven.”
Then the scribes and Pharisees began to ask themselves,
“Who is this who speaks blasphemies?
Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply,
“What are you thinking in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”–
he said to the one who was paralyzed,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
He stood up immediately before them,
picked up what he had been lying on,
and went home, glorifying God.
Then astonishment seized them all and they glorified God,
and, struck with awe, they said,
“We have seen incredible things today.”
REFLECTION (Sem. Randy D. Buquis)
I focus my reflection on the disposition of the men who have brought the paralytic to be with Jesus. We can see here that these men had faith in Jesus. They believed that Jesus was their only hope for the man’s healing. They knew and saw the compassion and mercy in Jesus.
Helping the paralytic man to come down from the roof shows how these men illustrate how they bring other people to Jesus, especially those who are needy. For me, this is a good thing that I need to reflect on: how much will I do to bring others to Jesus.
In the Gospel narrative, we can see the disposition of these men who brought the paralytic to Jesus. They become creative in using the roof because of the number of crowd. They had persistence in bringing the paralytic despite the many people that hindered them from going to Jesus and a communitarian approach in helping each other in bringing others to the Lord.
For me, these can be also our disposition: a creative, persistent and communitarian disposition in bringing other people to Jesus. In the seminary context, this disposition also helps us in giving fraternal correction or feedback in a more merciful way. This is a big challenge for me and a good reminder for me to be creative and persistent in giving feedback which becomes communitarian if all are encouraged to do so. But it should start in my consistent way of doing it, especially as one who is advanced in formation.
The Gospel today invites us that no matter how hopeless we are, how difficult our life is, and how heavy our crosses may be we have Jesus whom we can rely and depend on. He will surely help and heal us. And he is the best that we can have. Maybe it is good to ask ourselves who are those persons whom we wish to bring to Jesus for help and healing. But it needs to start with bringing Jesus into our life first.