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December 06, 2021

St. Nicholas

Lk 5: 17-26 

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying 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 middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 

When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 

But so 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, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Faithful Friendship 

As you enter this scene, to whom are you drawn?  

Is it the powerless, vulnerable paralytic man or his friends who carry him, so desperate to help and filled with faith that Jesus will heal him?  Unable to approach Jesus, they go to extreme lengths to place him at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, struck by their bold faith, addresses the paralytic as “friend,”and heals him. Those threatened by his power try to trap him in legalistic semantics, yet Jesus doubles down, declaring the man not only forgiven of his sins, but tells him to stand and go, which he does, glorifying God. 

He is healed and spiritually free, and all are filled with awe at this miracle.  

Are you able to accept the love and care of a friend?  

Are you able to be there for a friend in need, carrying them, literally or figuratively, to Jesus? Are you sometimes like the Pharisees, needing to be right, judging, doubting, afraid of losing power, or getting lost in rules and criticizing the faithful?  

Ask Jesus, our most faithful friend, to grow your faith, love, and compassion for all others. 

—Anne Lagorio is a spiritual director for the Exercises, trained at The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos. She accompanies those making the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and serves for the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Saint Ignatius Parish in Sacramento, CA, the Santa Clara University Ignatian Adventure Program, and the St. Monica’s Spirituality Center in Santa Monica, CA.

 

Prayer 

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some love and care
And nothing, nothing is going right. 
Close you eyes, and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night. 

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, to see you again.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall,
All you have to do is call,
And I’ll be there, Yes I will—
You’ve got a friend. 

—Lyrics to “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King, 1971


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 06, 2021

St. Nicholas

Lk 5: 17-26 

One day, while he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting near by (they had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem); and the power of the Lord was with him to heal. Just then some men came, carrying a paralyzed man on a bed. They were trying 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 middle of the crowd in front of Jesus. 

When he saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven you.” Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, “Who is this who is speaking blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” When Jesus perceived their questionings, he answered them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and walk’? 

But so 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, stand up and take your bed and go to your home.” Immediately he stood up before them, took what he had been lying on, and went to his home, glorifying God. Amazement seized all of them, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen strange things today.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. 

Faithful Friendship 

As you enter this scene, to whom are you drawn?  

Is it the powerless, vulnerable paralytic man or his friends who carry him, so desperate to help and filled with faith that Jesus will heal him?  Unable to approach Jesus, they go to extreme lengths to place him at the feet of Jesus. Jesus, struck by their bold faith, addresses the paralytic as “friend,”and heals him. Those threatened by his power try to trap him in legalistic semantics, yet Jesus doubles down, declaring the man not only forgiven of his sins, but tells him to stand and go, which he does, glorifying God. 

He is healed and spiritually free, and all are filled with awe at this miracle.  

Are you able to accept the love and care of a friend?  

Are you able to be there for a friend in need, carrying them, literally or figuratively, to Jesus? Are you sometimes like the Pharisees, needing to be right, judging, doubting, afraid of losing power, or getting lost in rules and criticizing the faithful?  

Ask Jesus, our most faithful friend, to grow your faith, love, and compassion for all others. 

—Anne Lagorio is a spiritual director for the Exercises, trained at The Jesuit Retreat Center of Los Altos. She accompanies those making the Spiritual Exercises in Everyday Life, and serves for the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Saint Ignatius Parish in Sacramento, CA, the Santa Clara University Ignatian Adventure Program, and the St. Monica’s Spirituality Center in Santa Monica, CA.

 

Prayer 

When you’re down and troubled
And you need some love and care
And nothing, nothing is going right. 
Close you eyes, and think of me
And soon I will be there
To brighten up even your darkest night. 

You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I’ll come running, to see you again.
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall,
All you have to do is call,
And I’ll be there, Yes I will—
You’ve got a friend. 

—Lyrics to “You’ve Got a Friend” by Carole King, 1971


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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