December 6, Monday, Second Week of Advent
Daily Readings: Isaiah 35:1-10; Psalm: Ps 85:9ab and 10, 11-12, 13-14 & Luke 5:17-26
From Isaiah and the fact of Jesus' curing of the person with paralysis tell us that ultimately God does not stand for hunger, war, suffering, fear, and disease, nor even for infertile land, drought, and thirst. In the time of Messiah, the fearful and weak are strengthened; the blind, the deaf, and the lame are cured.
In today's first reading, Prophet Isaiah mentioned encouraging words, "The wilderness and the dry land should be glad, the desert shall rejoice and blossom; like the crocus, it shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice with joy and singing. Say to those who are of a fearful heart, "Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God. He will come and save you."
Advent's frequent picturing of the beauty and glory of the time of the Messiah must not simply quiet us into warm Christmas-card reveries, but enkindle our hope and drive our action.
In the Gospel reading, Jesus was teaching. The religious leaders were sitting nearby. A paralyzed man was brought to Jesus. Was it his idea or that of the helpers? Jesus responded to their faith with internal healing first. This led to questioning by the religious leaders about forgiving sins before Jesus brought physical healing. The people were amazed at the strange things that had happened.
Maybe we would say that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the Savior. Jesus gives eternal life to those who believe in Him for it. Now, I would agree that these are the most important things that Jesus does. He saves people from sins. He gives eternal life to people who believe in Him for it.
This is a story of surprises with internal and external healing. Where has the Lord surprised me? I do need the helping hand of other people in life. I pray that I will let others bring me to Jesus in my need. Jesus, in his act of healing, looks at the whole person. He recognized that the man's paralysis was not just physical but that he did not have the strength to make a positive act of faith.
There are times when we need to be helped to ask for healing or to help others to do so. It was the faith of his friends and not the paralyzed man's own faith to which Jesus responded, "And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "My friend, your sins are forgiven."
When we forgive, and when we are forgiven, a crippling burden is lifted from our shoulders. We can then, like the man in this chapter, rise and walk.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.