Luke 5: 17-26
The man in the Gospel is named “friend” by Jesus because of the love and serving he accepts with trust. Jesus sees the faith and love of those who serve him. Out of the life of this heartfelt service, Jesus releases him from the weight of his sins. This man, brought to Christ’s light by his friends, is released to a new beginning. Jesus opens the spirit of the paralyzed man to know the love he already has — a love that has nothing to do with his gift to walk.
St. John’s Rehab has always supported patients seeking time in the beautiful grounds outside the hospital. There was one young man of generous build who was so happy to be able to ambulate his own wheelchair easily outside in one direction, but he had to work extremely hard to find the strength to return. If he saw me in the hall, he would stop and quietly ask me to wheel him the rest of the way to his room. I knew he wanted to trust me. Seeking the momentum to push the wheelchair was helped by my remembering the loving determination of those friends who carried the man to see Jesus. The patient’s trust reminded me of the vulnerability required to be our true selves as God loves us. I wanted to honour his willingness to be as God’s own before me. I pray to accept the knowledge that I am also served with a love that has little to do with my actions.