Year B, The Seventh Sunday Ordinary Time

Bring Us to the Feet of Jesus

February 20, 2000


Ronald D. Curley

TEXT: The Holy Gospel According to St. Mark 2:1-12

1 And when he returned to Caperna-um after some days, it was reported that he was at home.

2 And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room for them, not even about the door; and he was preaching the word to them.

The word had gone out to the communities beyond the immediate location of Jesus. The Word had spread. People had never encountered anyone before like Jesus. And, they wanted to come to see who he was, and, perhaps, look upon his authority over the diseases and demonic works they had heard spoken of by the witnesses and those cured themselves.

Now, Jesus was still at Caperna-um, and, everybody in the "world" seemed to know that "he was home."

What a spectacle that must have been with all of the people around the door. Here we have hundreds, perhaps, thousands of people, and they are all straining to get as close as possible to Jesus in order to hear his words, see his works. It was chaotic.

3 And they came, bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men.

I would like to propose a simple solution to the chaos that was occurring then, and that occurs today? I will not be dogmatic about this, but we suggest it as perhaps a simple allegory of the truth that comes from this passage today.

There was a paralytic man carried to Jesus by four men. Now, I have read that for many years, but today it seems to speak to me about the four Holy Gospels, as men, as evangelists, bearing the spiritually paralyzed upon the "bed" of the world's system through the crowds that gather to listen to the place where Jesus is Home.

Yet, the chaos is such that they cannot get through the throng of people. So, these Four "evangelists" that bring this helpless one to Jesus, do something the crowd has not done in their zeal to seek Jesus.

4 And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and when they had made an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic lay.

What an event!

These Four literally tear through the roof to get to Jesus. Can you imagine the dust and the noise, and, what Sts. Peter and Andrew, not to mention his mother, must have thought? Their roof! It was being disassembled and the dust was flying and the thatch was falling into the room on Jesus and the people... What a sight! Suddenly, in flooded the light and it must have shone on Jesus and those around him as the man on the litter was let down, helplessly by these Four "evangelists."

I do not believe we push this theme too far. For this is how God "breaks through" our conventions and worldviews, breaking through the "fallow" and shining into the world through the light of the Gospel of Christ to an amazed world.

This is the role of the Church - to proclaim and evangelize by the Four Gospels, as did these four men who brought the paralytic man through the roof into the Presence of Jesus Christ at Home.

What joy and faith this proclaims.

5 And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My son, your sins are forgiven."


That is the message.

That important FACT is INFINITELY MORE IMPORTANT than any mere physical healing that takes place here or ever into the present or future at the hand of God, the Son.

Your sins are forgiven.

My sins are forgiven.

Our sins are forgiven.

Thanks be to God.

We adore Thee, Oh, Most Holy Lord, Jesus Christ, and we bless Thee, because of your Most Holy Cross, you have redeemed the world.


6 Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts,

7 "Why does this man speak thus? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?"

So many are like this. They fail to see the miraculous work of God in their midst, because God no longer seems to work as they perceive it within their own lives. They have become "dull" to the works of God in their midst. They have come to the place of stagnation and forgotten to recall their first Love, God alone.

But, Jesus is there, and here, to heal the broken hearted. He hears and sees us within, those with hearts that have been broken and hurt that omit the light that comes through the roof of their soul when the Spirit breaks it up. Unlike the contrite and helpless man with his simple faith in the Four evangelists that carried him to Jesus' feet through the roof, these souls allow themselves the bitter work of criticism in the midst of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity who does his works in plain view and in the midst of the broken and contrite.

8 And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, "Why do you question thus in your hearts?

9 Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say,' Rise, take up your pallet and walk?

10 But that you may know that the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins"--he said to the paralytic--

11 "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."

Yes - rise take up you pallet and go home.

I see a day of great evangelism... it is a springtime of evangelism where the roofs will be broken through and many of the paralyzed in spirit will be lowered through the roofs to the Home of Peter, where Jesus is and there be healed at his feet with the words from the Eternal Word -- "I say to you, rise, take up your pallet and go home."

12 And he rose, and immediately took up the pallet and went out before them all; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, "We never saw anything like this!"

I dare say that many of us who are timid in our understanding of what is to come through the work of the Gospel Evangelists will some day stand in awe at the mighty works of God in our midst as we see the greatest springtime in the history of the Church come through the "roof," breaking up the dust filled thatch of life, letting the light shine in. It reminds me of the "aggiornamentio" of Pope John the 23rd and the Spirit of God moving on the waters of Genesis and John's Gospel.

It is, "The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God," of St. Mark.

It is the, "Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things which have been accomplished among us, just as they were delivered to us by those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word," of St. Luke.

It remains too the message to the Chosen of Abraham, "THE book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham."

And, beautifully, it remains the declaration of the Word of God, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."

May the Blessed Virgin Mary be the Help of Christians to us and help bring us with the Evangelists carrying all of us through the "roof" and through the crowds and confusions of the world that blocks our way to the Way, the Truth and the Life into the Glorious Presence of Jesus Christ at Home with Peter.

Deus et Sanctissima.