““And when Jesus saw their faith He said to the paralytic, “Child your sins are forgiven.”
I at times reflect about how I see my role in the Church which is the family of God and what it is I can offer to God and for my fellow sisters and brothers in this catholic family. I am using the small “c” and not the “C” for its meaning is “universal” And I wish to embrace everyone in the world no matter what religion or what country or what culture he/she might belong to. I seek to be all embracing. As a disabled person, now home bound, I find that the possibilities of carrying on an active ministry in the Church has become quite limited, so when I read this one line from the New Testament, it moved me deeply. This paralytic did absolutely nothing to get cured but also to get his/her sins forgiven. His/Her friends did everything for him/her. They provided the heavy lifting, they provided the heavy labor of removing the roof on the house and they lowered him/her down. They provided the faith. They provided the hope. They provided the question posed to Christ Jesus, which was, “Will you, Lord, heal our friend?” Perhaps they didn’t even bother to ask Jesus if He could heal their friend since their faith was so deep, so strong, so powerful that they just lowered him/her right down upon the Christ, the Anointed One while simultaneously destroying the roof of the Master’s house. Another thing too, we don’t even know if the paralytic wanted the miracle. We assume he/she did. However, what is most emphasized in this exchange is the fact that as brothers and sisters to one another, as friends to one another, we can intercede for one another. We can carry each other’s burdens. Offer them up to God for one another. Our life, as Hermits of the Holy Cross, even though we are disabled and no longer can participate in an active ministry is a ministry of intercession and offering to God the suffering we endure for the good of others. Our loving God takes both our suffering and our intercessory prayers and transforms them into grace. He heals our broken body, He binds up all our wounds and He purifies our souls together. Notice the family/friends all work together with Christ Jesus assisting each other in this transformative process. Even when we perhaps have no faith left in our heart, struggle with the virtue of hope, perhaps even contemplate giving up all together. Perhaps we are paralyzed in some way and are now in need of assistance from others, family and friends. (This can be a time of great struggle for us since we were so use to doing everything for ourself and did not have a need to rely on others to get our needs met) We now find that others can lead the way for us, if we only allow them to do so. The paralytic had to have a great deal of humility because it’s not easy to be so vulnerable being paraded around in front of so many people. They could have asked Jesus if He could take a couple of minutes to come visit their friend or family member instead of putting this person through such an ordeal. I’m sure Jesus would have obliged and gone to their house. But instead, they paraded him/her in front of everyone. It was all part of the process. Personally, if that were me lying on that mat, I would have been grateful, but at the same time embarrassed by the whole situation, especially laying there exposed for all the world to see so to speak, while the others were ripping the roof off the house. It’s so wonderful to see how we as members of the family of God can intercede for one another and God will hear our prayers and listen to our petitions for one another. What a tremendous gift this is. God is eager to restore us in both spirit and body when we work together to bring about His kingdom. Even if we are no longer able to have an active ministry we can intercede for one another. We can offer our suffering for the good of another. This gives us great meaning to our life. Even if we are paralyzed, our life continues to have meaning, we are just as important as the person who is actively participating in the work of God for we assist others in the corporal works of mercy by allowing them to help us who might be disabled. They are making their way to Heaven with help from us. They intercede for us and we intercede for them. Working in harmony opens the door to great healing for our souls and even at times healing for our body’s. May we continue to care for one another, to respect one another and to intercede for one another all the days of our life. Please continue to pray for the Hermits of the Holy Cross, that we may grow more deeply in love with the Heart of Christ Jesus. We will be praying for you. Let us always strive to accept every person for we all belong to the family of God. Let us be patient with one another, continue to hope and pray God will bring to each of us the healing we need and the forgiveness we need that we may all be united in that Heavenly Kingdom that our gracious God has in store for us in Eternity.
Peace and Goodness,
Your brother in Christ,
Hermits of the Holy Cross