Saturday, February 18, 2012

Paralyzed Friends

Sometimes there are those stories or scripture which we hear often, and have known for so long, but then we realize we have only taken the story a surface level, and have missed a huge, deeper point. I felt that today at Church. Today's Gospel was Mark 2:1-12, the story of the paralytic man lowered by his friends through the roof of the over-crowded place where Jesus was preaching. Well, I personally have, for a long time, known this story, and still imagine the little cartoon, four-fingered characters from my first Bible. But I, as well as many others, have always focused on just the miraculous healing on the paralytic by Jesus. Don't get me wrong, Jesus's healing is, as always, an amazing thing, but the priest today brought attention to some other characters. Not Jesus, nor the paralytic- but the friends. The friends went through all the planning and struggles to carry their paralytic friend to the place where Jesus preached. Upon discovering the room to be overflowing with people, they went through the efforts of hoisting the paralytic and his stretcher onto the roof. Nothing would get in their way of bringing their ill friend to Jesus. Once on the roof, they somehow maneuvered the stretcher through the roof, and into the presence of Jesus. That is a lot of effort, work, dedication, and sacrifice, to bring their friend to Jesus. Why did they do it? Because they loved their friend, and they wanted healing for him.

We all have paralyzed friends. Maybe we have a friend paralyzed in an addiction, or even just paralyzed in the mind and will, not moving towards Jesus. We must be those friends, who will go through whatever means, to bring our paralyzed friend to Jesus. It is not easy to move a paralytic. There are many obstacles which are often discouraging. But we must go through the effort, work, dedication, and sacrifices, to carry our friend, to the One who will free him of the sin which paralyzes his soul.
That is true friendship.

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