December 5, 2016
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.” (Luke 5:17-26)
Today’s Gospel reading offers some insight into our shared responsibility to pray. Jesus was traveling from town to town, preaching to all and healing the afflicted. A paralyzed man wanted desperately to be in the presence of Jesus. He was confident that simply being in the presence of Jesus would cure him and allow him to walk again. But the crowd was too big and the paralyzed man could not get close enough. Others interceded on his behalf. They carried his stretcher up to the roof, removed some of the tiles, and lowered him down to where Jesus stood.
The words of the Gospel that appeared just before Jesus healed the paralyzed man resonated with me: “When Jesus saw their faith…”
The paralyzed man had great faith. He believed Jesus could heal him. He also believed that there was strength in numbers. He knew he couldn’t do it alone, so he called upon others to help. A pivotal part of the story – the others responded. They, too, believed. They made it possible for the paralyzed man to reach Jesus.
It was their faith Jesus saw – that of the paralyzed man and those who lowered him down through the roof.
Next time someone asks you to pray for him or for someone close to him who is suffering, set aside the thought that your intercession is not good enough. Picture yourself on that roof. Think of yourself as one of the people making it possible for that person to be in the presence of Jesus.