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Catholic News Herald

Serving Christ and Connecting Catholics in Western North Carolina

speersJust recently I was reading Luke 5:17-20:

“One day, while Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting nearby (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with Him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying to bring him in and lay him before Jesus; but finding no way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. When He saw their faith, He said, ‘Friend, your sins are forgiven you.’”

I have read this passage a zillion times but this reading was different. I noticed more of the details to the account. First of all, there were some men who were carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. The scriptures didn’t reference that these men were family, simply “some men.”

Jesus was healing, drawing a huge crowd. These men must have heard how Jesus healed, so they wanted their friend to be made whole. They carry him to where Jesus was, the place was packed and they couldn’t get near the door to get in. How discouraged they must have felt. Imagine how disheartened the paralyzed man must have been.
At this point, most people would have given up. How easy it would have been for these men to say to the paralyzed man, “Well, the place is packed, we can’t get you in. Maybe next time.” Instead of dodging the problem, packing up and going home, they moved on to Plan B.

With unity of spirit, they lifted their burden to the top of the roof, cut a hole, and then dropped the paralyzed man in front of Jesus. This was a group effort! Think about the physical strength required of these men and the tremendous faith they had in Jesus to heal their friend. This was a mammoth undertaking, and these men willing gave sacrificial love to their neighbor.

When was the last time we gave sacrificial love to our neighbor? When was the last time we gave sacrificial love to the Lord? Do we dodge the spiritual issues and failures in our lives or do we move on to Plan B, living our faith?

Barbara Case Speers is a writer who lives in Hickory.