December 5, 2011
Monday of the Second Week of Advent
Father Frank Formolo, LC
Listen to the podcast version here.
Luke 5: 17-26
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees
and teachers of the law, who had come from every
village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, were sitting there,
and the power of the Lord was with him for
healing. And some men brought on a stretcher a man
who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in
and set him in his presence. But not finding a
way to bring him in because of the crowd, they
went up on the roof and lowered him on the
stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of
Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “As for
you, your sins are forgiven.” Then the scribes and Pharisees
began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies?
Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their
thoughts and said to them in reply, “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 was 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. Then astonishment seized them all and
they glorified God, and, struck with awe, they said, “We
have seen incredible things today.”
Introductory Prayer: Lord you are the
author of all things and you have power to forgive
sins. Though my faith is still weak I do believe
in you. And I also trust in your goodness and
mercy. Here I am before you in prayer, longing once
more to love you with all my mind, heart, soul
Petition: Lord, help me to seek you in
my life above all else.
1. The Pharisees’ Faith: The Pharisees
sat in front of Christ watching him cure the sick.
Earlier they had seen many other miracles, but despite what
they saw they could not bring themselves to believe in
Christ. Miracle after miracle couldn’t change their mind. Jesus decides
to give them a decisive miracle so that they will
believe. He decides to cure the paralytic to show his
power to forgive sins. Since disease for the Pharisees was
a sign of sin, they should have been ready to
accept Jesus’ message of healing and forgiveness. But they were
too wrapped up in seeking their own plans and protecting
their own honor to discern God’s loving mercy behind what
they witnessed. How often do we want God to give
us a sign so we can follow his plan? And
how often are we not open to what he tells
us, simply and directly because we’re too focused on achieving
our own plans?
2. The Paralytic’s Faith: The paralytic needed no
signs. He believed Jesus could help him. His faith was
so strong he would not let the difficulties overcome him.
He couldn’t walk so he found someone to carry him.
When he arrived he couldn’t get to Christ, so his
men brought him in through the roof. He was determined
to see Christ because he knew what Christ could do
for him. His faith was so strong it moved him
to action. He had a living faith, which goes far
beyond mere ideas. His faith moved him to find our
Lord no matter the difficulties. What have I done to
seek Christ, to meet him face to face? What have
I been prepared to do in order to receive his
grace? Do I give up my prayer or my apostolate
at the first difficulty?
3. For God’s Glory: Jesus didn’t
perform this miracle for himself or his own glory. He
sought only God’s glory. We see how everyone glorifies God
after the miracle. It’s almost as if Christ is forgotten.
Christ sought only to do what would glorify the Father.
How often do we seek our own glory when we
work on the apostolate or perform an act of charity?
How often do we hope someone will remember us and
say “Thank You” although we are here to build Christ’s
Kingdom for God’s glory alone? We need to constantly renew
our purity of intention.
Dialogue with Christ: Lord, how great
was the faith of the paralytic! He was humble enough
to find you and strong enough in his faith that
nothing could keep him from you. Grant me the gift
of a humble heart and a strong faith so I
can be constant and dedicated in seeking to encounter you
in my life and in fulfilling your will for your
glory and the good of others alone.
Resolution: Today I
will look for solutions to the problems that come my
way, and I will renew my intention to perform my
duties for God’s glory throughout the day.