Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing for joy. For waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert… (Isaiah (35:5-6)
An Advent Reflection on the Scripture Readings at Mass…
We all need faith. We all need to believe that when all is said and done, all will be well. My dad would tell me when I was young and hurting, “Mike, there’s nothing to worry about, just do the right thing. Everything is going to be okay.”
In scripture, we are repeatedly encouraged to not let fear overcome us, but rather to have faith. But when you are in the midst of some difficulty or experiencing suffering, even when there appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel, it is easy to doubt and be afraid.
The passage from Isaiah 35 encourages the people of God who have been living in exile to trust in their God who will come and save them and safely return them to Zion. This prophecy addresses both their return to the promised land through what would be an arid and dangerous wilderness and also the coming new and everlasting covenant that ushers in our return to communion with God.
And behold, men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they sought 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 midst before Jesus. And when he saw their faith he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” (Luke 5:18-20)
Jesus heals a paralytic in today’s Gospel. The man’s companions could not bring the man directly to Jesus through the dense crowd, so they climbed to the roof and let him down from above. Jesus forgave the paralytic’s sins, but this brought about criticism from the authorities, so Jesus healed the man and told him to rise up as a sign of his authority.
The paralytic was blessed by friends who helped him, and interceded with the Lord on his behalf. He was blessed by their faith.
God really does love us. He really does care for our well-being. Especially in what ultimately matters — to share in his beatitude and glory for all eternity in communion with him.
He cares for you. So be of good courage and have faith in the promise of your Savior. Glory awaits those who believe.
Who can I bring to the Lord today, no matter the obstacles?
Come, Lord Jesus.
Image credit: “Christ Heals the Paralytic” (detail) | Bernhard Rode, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
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