Saint Ambrose, Bishop and Doctor of the Church (Memorial)
Rise and walk. (Luke 5:23)
Sometimes it can feel as if our faith is helplessly frozen inside of us. We feel paralyzed spiritually, unable to sense the Holy Spirit or to feel God’s loving presence. Not knowing what to do, we can end up spending days and weeks hoping for someone or some situation to lift us up and drop us at Jesus’ feet.
In today’s Gospel reading, we find someone in just the opposite situation. This man may not have been able to move his body, but his faith—along with the faith of his friends—was alive and well. It was powerful enough, in fact, to move him to take drastic measures just so that he could get to Jesus. That faith moved them to carry their friend through the streets of Capernaum all the way to the house where Jesus was preaching.
That faith also helped them overcome any embarrassment they might have felt as they saw that they would have to push their way through a large group of Pharisees and teachers who had come from all over the area to hear Jesus.
Most important, though, their faith kept them from turning around in discouragement when they saw that the house was too full to accommodate them. Instead, it inspired them to climb onto the roof and lower their friend down into the house so that he landed at Jesus’ feet. Now that’s faith!
If this paralyzed man and his friends have anything to teach us, it’s that faith is far from passive. There is a big difference between the kind of faith that accepts the truths of our creed and the kind of faith that propels us to acts of trust even when we don’t feel anything!
In the Church today, the Holy Spirit is renewing the gift of healing. Priests and laypeople alike are being raised up to pray with people who are sick—and we are seeing real healings come from these prayers. That’s why Jesus wants to help us increase our faith. He wants to see us pray for the sick and pray for conversions for those who have lost their faith. May we all find the courage to say, “Rise and walk!”
“Father, I believe in you. I put my hope in you. I will push forward today even as I face obstacles. Help me to walk by faith today.”~WAU