06 December 2010

Obstacle Removal Continues

If we might think of this most sacred season of Advent as a time of removing obstacles then today's Gospel offers us an inspiring example of this practice. The friends of the paralyzed man were not able to bring their lame companion to the Lord on account of the crowd. They went in the proverbial back door by lowering their friend through the roof and landing, as the Gospel tells us, in "the middle in front of Jesus."

How often do we feel at an impasse in a difficult situation? Perhaps we even feel paralyzed in some cases. Maybe we feel unable to respond in a loving way to someone who has hurt us; it may be the case that we feel unable to approach someone whom we have hurt, in order to apologize. Whatever our form of paralysis, let us follow the example of the "stretcher-carriers" in today's Gospel; let us go straight to Jesus to be healed. Let us put aside the obstacles that keep us from doing this: fear, busyness, preoccupation, etc., and let us run to the Lord.

We cannot, of ourselves, "get up and walk" when we have been injured and -- in some cases -- injured badly. We cannot "get up and walk" until we are healed. It is no different for our spiritual maladies. We cannot will ourselves to respond lovingly to one who has hurt us without the grace of God. We cannot ask for forgiveness when we have been wrong without the humility that comes from the Lord. So, let us take our wounds to "the middle in front of Jesus" and let us "go home glorifying God" because of His great mercy.

"The Lord will be as a healing balm to say and soothe our heart in time of spiritual sickness, --he will shield us from evil, and confirm that which is good in us, and when we fall through infirmity, he will avert the deadly nature of the evil, and raise us up again."
St. Francis de Sales

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