Friday, January 16, 2015

“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you. – Dale Carnegie (American writer)

Gospel Text: (MK 2:1-12)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days,
it became known that he was at home.
Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them,
not even around the door,
and he preached the word to them.
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.
Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd,
they opened up the roof above him.
After they had broken through,
they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to him,
“Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves,
“Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming.
Who but God alone can forgive sins?”
Jesus immediately knew in his mind what
they were thinking to themselves,
so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts?
Which is easier, to say to the paralytic,
‘Your sins are forgiven,’
or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat and walk’?
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth”
–he said to the paralytic,
“I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.”
He rose, picked up his mat at once,
and went away in the sight of everyone.
They were all astounded
and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Jesus returns to Capernaum and enters the home of Peter. Immediately a large crowd filled the home and even filled the entrances to the house. Everyone was eager to hear Jesus preaching and healing.

Among the people four men came carrying a friend on a mat who was a paralytic. These four men who were friends tried without success to bring their friend to Jesus hoping he could be cured. Access to Jesus was impossible. So these men carried the man up to the roof of the house, removed the tiles and lower the man down to lay him at the feet of Jesus.

Jesus is surprised not just at the man afflicted with paralysis, more so at his four friends. Jesus saw their affection and friendship for this man and their faith. Jesus forgives the sins of the man. Then he tells him to pick up his mat and go home.

In this gospel passage we can see in Jesus how much he respects and honors friendship. Aristotle grounds friendship in the values of goodness and beauty. I could imagine the mind of Jesus seeing these gentlemen and thinking how deep down and over flowing is the goodness of these men. Is there anything more beautiful this man could ask for other than the untarnished friendship of his four friends? This is supported and sustained by their faith.

Thank God for friends they are the ones who will carry you through thick and thin. They are the ones who “will lift roofs and place you at the feet of Jesus” when our prayers need bolstering. They are always there when we are most in need.

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