Friday of the First Week in Ordinary Time
I have always liked the story in today's Gospel and the reason is because it is not just one person's faith at work. The story says, "When Jesus saw their faith...." It was the faith of the group of friends, of the community, that made all the difference. It was the hard work and faith of the friends of the paralytic. It was the faith of the man, himself, that probably motivated his friends. All of them worked together so that this healing moment was possible.
I often refer to the parishes I go to or the people who make one of my retreats as a community of faith and I truly believe that they are. I am always happy to be in their presence because I believe there is a great power in a community gathered together for a Sunday mass, a daily mass, a prayer service, a parish mission or a retreat. I believe that it takes a community of faith to get us through life.
Sure, we need our personal faith. Sure, we need a personal relationship with God, but we also need a community because as good as we might be there are times when we cannot do it alone. We need people to pick us up, to carry us. We need people to help us find a way in, to find a way to God. We need people who believe in us and in the journey, we are on. We need people who know God just as we do.
Jesus affirms the small community of faithful friends in the Gospel today. They make it possible for their friend to be healed and to be forgiven. What great friends the paralytic man had, do we have friends like him? Are we faith filled friends willing to pick a friend up and make sure they can get to God?
Have a joyful and faith filled Friday everyone and may the Passion of Jesus Christ be always in your heart!
Father Paul Fagan, C.P.