Word to the Wise

Monday, December 11, 2017 - 2nd Week of Advent - Mon

[Isa 35:1-10 and Luke 5:17-26]
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened, the ears of the deaf be cleared; then will the lame leap like a stag, then the tongue of the mute will sing. [Isaiah] "What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Rise and walk'? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins" - he said to the one who are paralyzed, "I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home." He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home glorifying God. [Luke]

     The story of the paralytic whose friends bring him to Jesus is a powerful Advent preaching.  Isaiah speaks of the "day of the Lord" and the signs that this day has come.  Those in Jesus' audience would know about these signs.  The healing of the paralytic - both on the physical and spiritual level - goes straight to the meaning of Isaiah.  Notice those words about "go home" and "went home"  The paralytic was not just cured, he was healed, and so was his family and friends who could receive him.  Sick people were considered unclean.  
     The Advent significance goes further than simply the healing of the paralytic.  Consider the initiative of the friends who bring him to Jesus.  One of my Dominican brethren once pointed out in regard to this story how powerful one's friends can be in helping with healing.  The action of the friends is, to my way of thinking, a sign of the kingdom.  Where can we help bring the kingdom in Advent?  To whom can we bring the healing presence of the Lord?  Who can we invite to gaze on the manger scene with us and then do the practical things like carrying the stretcher and taking off the roof!  (They must have been engineers!)  When this happens, we will make it possible for someone to "go home" glorifying God.  AMEN

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