Old Testament: Genesis 39:1-23
Morning Psalms: Psalms am: 50, 59, 60
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 2:14-3:15
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12
Evening Psalms: Psalms 19, 46
As I read the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man, I was struck by the lengths to which the man's friends were willing to go to get him to Jesus. Nothing was going to stand in their way of getting their paralyzed friend what he needed.
I think of strength when I reflect on this Gospel passage. All of us should be so lucky to have people in our lives who care enough, who are strong enough to help us when we need it the most. It's good to have friends who are physically strong (especially when there's furniture to be moved). Clearly the paralyzed man's friends had the physical strength to carry and hoist him onto the roof. But the strength I'm admiring here is inner strength, the strength of love that led this man’s friends to do whatever needed to be done to help him. I want to be strong like that. And sometimes I have been. Other times, not so much. There have been times in my life when the opportunity to be strong presented itself, and I've folded, given in to fear, doubt, and insecurity. Instead of the strong helper, I became the person who was paralyzed. Fortunately, I don’t have to look very far to witness examples of inner strength in my own life, examples I can follow. It’s amazing what members of St. Matthew’s do to help the hungry, the homeless, and the hurting in our community. Their regular acts of kindness and generosity are inspiring; their strength, heroic. Yes, I want to be strong like that.
The good news is I can be strong like that because the Gospel shows that the paralyzed are healed. Our love for one another, my faith in Christ, and His forgiveness of my failings make it possible to tap into my own inner strength to do His good works. And for that I am grateful. Amen.