16 January 2009


Friday in the First Week of Ordinary Time
Mk 2:1-12

The crowd that gathered was such that the house seemed to burst. It was Simon Peter’s house, and Jesus was inside it. Four friends wanted to see Jesus for their paralytic friend, but because of the crowd, they could not get any inch closer to Him. They were clever however: they lowered their paralytic friend from the roof right at the spot where Jesus was.

We cannot really be certain, but it is safe to presume that that roof from where the paralytic was lowered had no hole so big that anyone could pass through. Thus, for sure, the four friends had to make a hole through that roof. They had to destroy part of that roof so that their paralytic friend may be made whole. Those four were not only clever; they were very audacious too.

Yes, they were clever and audacious but it was not their ingenuity and boldness that Jesus noticed. Jesus saw their faith in Him. Because of their faith in Jesus, their paralytic friend was not only healed but was forgiven from his sins as well.

If we are clever, we may teach friend the way where there seems to be no way. If we are audacious, we can endure the difficult for a friend in difficulty. However, if we have faith, we can do more than teach and endure. With faith, we can help someone receive salvation, wholeness, and relationship with God who heals and forgives. WHO HEALS BY FORGIVING.

“A friend in need is a friend in deed.” The paralytic man in the gospel today was a friend in deed to his four friends because he was a friend in need. But the four proved to be true friends to him as well. With their cleverness, audacity, and faith in Jesus they were the answers to their paralytic friend’s prayer. The forgiveness of his sins came as a bonus from Jesus.

With the great crowd jam packed inside Simon Peter’s house, where Jesus was, the roof of that house symbolizes the hearts of each one who was there. They needed to open their hearts to hear the plea of a man who needed their help. Even before the four friends made a hole through that roof, their hearts were already pierced through by the sufferings of their paralytic friend. When they made a hole through that roof, they seemed to be acting out for the crowd what needed to be done so that the suffering of a fellow human being might find room in their hearts. In such hearts, God and man meet, and faith in Jesus creates miracles.

The Christmas season ended last Sunday only. We still remember the details of Jesus’ birth. Was it not because there was no room for them in the inn that Jesus was born in a manger? The picture of a child lying in a manger is indeed very poetic, but we all know that a manger is never the right place for anyone to be born.

Jesus knows the experience of having no place. He understands the pain of having no place in the midst of intense need. He knows and understands precisely because it was one of His first experiences as a human person. It was one of the details of the story of how He was born, a detail we easily romanticize about but fail to learn from.

Until today, Jesus knocks on the hearts of many people. Should those hearts remain closed? Should we still need to make a hole in the roof? Where there is no way, the clever has a way. If the demand is difficult, the audacious can endure. If there is love, faith makes miracles.
“I believe in miracles, and they all begin with an act of love.”


At 8:46 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found time to write again. I've been waiting for your reflections for several months. Keep writing father, it nourishes my soul. We miss you here in GUADALUPE! Wala pa kasing pumapalit sayo.... I mean yung kasing gwapo at kasing galing mo raw. Happy New Year! God bless. By the way,I'm a member of one of the choir here.


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