Monday, December 10, 2012

Second Monday of Advent: Allowing Ourselves to Be Carried

“Some people brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set him in his presence … [They] lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, ‘As for you, your sins are forgiven.’” – Lk 5: 18-20

As I prayed today’s Gospel, I was struck by three images. First, I am inspired by the friends of the paralytic who did their utmost to bring him to Jesus. Their faith and hope is placed in Jesus’ compassionate power. Second, I am drawn by the paralytic’s willingness to allow people to care for him. In doing so, he “brought” them to Jesus. If they did not step up to help him, they might not have approached Jesus on their own and be carried by Jesus, for those who bear the light to others cannot keep it from themselves. Third, I am moved by Jesus’ courage and compassion. Knowing well the cost of being misunderstood and the risk of being persecuted, Jesus allowed himself to be carried by his trust in God-Abba and desire to reconcile others to God.

In similar ways, I find myself being carried. I am that friend who brings my young cousin, Thy, and our family through her last days and funeral this past week. In the process, I am being carried to Jesus. I am also the paralytic as I let others support and accompany me as I grieve the deep loss of her sudden death in the coming days and weeks. I am also invited to be like Jesus in allowing faith and strength to be drawn from me and embrace the costs of this choice. God has many ways to bring us closer to Godself. There is much grace in allowing ourselves to be carried by helping, by accepting help, and by being God’s healing presence and power, often unbeknownst to us. Let us allow ourselves this Advent to be carried to God. In the process, we empower others to do likewise.

“Lord, with whom and through whom are you inviting me to be carried in grace?”

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