December 5, 2022
by Nicky Santos S.J.
Creighton University's Jesuit Community and Business School
click here for photo and information about the writer

Monday of the Second Week of Advent
Lectionary: 181

Isaiah 35:1-10
Psalm 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14
Luke 5:17-26

Praying Advent Home Page


Praying with Jesus in the Womb
Elizabeth Remembers
A Parent Reflects on Joseph & Mary

The healing of the paralytic who was lowered by his friends through a hole they made in the roof of the house where Jesus was preaching is undoubtedly a dramatic story. But, at least in my opinion, if we don’t consider the larger context, we would miss an important point of the story. Chapter 5 of Luke’s gospel begins with the call of Simon Peter followed by the cleansing of a leper followed by the healing of the paralytic (today’s passage) and is followed by the call of Levi, the tax collector. The call to discipleship is the larger context within which the healing of the paralytic is situated. The faith of the leper and the paralytic (as well as of his friends) is contrasted with that of the Pharisees and teachers of the law who come from all over not because they believe in Jesus but rather because they want to trap him. While Simon Peter follows Jesus because he is awed by the miraculous catch of fish and while the leper is cleansed and the paralytic healed, the disciple is called to have that faith of the leper and the paralytic that preceded their being cleansed and healed. It is the faith that Levi, the tax-collector despised by most, has when he immediately responds to Jesus’ invitation to follow him. He leaves everything behind and follows Jesus.

As we journey along during this season of Advent, it might help to ask ourselves what kind of disciples are we? Do we constantly need tangible proof that God loves us? Are our minds and hearts troubled by doubt and anxiety? Or do we have that deep faith in Jesus that no obstacle is big enough to shake? Today’s reading encourages me to continue to abandon myself to the care of God. At the same time, it also reminds me to be that instrument of God’s care to others; to be like the friends of the paralytic.

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