In next Sunday's Gospel reading, we hear the story of the paralytic
who was taken to Jesus through a hole in the roof. He received healing
because of his friends.
God never intended any of us to move through the difficulties of life
by ourselves. In fact, he answers our prayers through the fellowship
of Christian friends in faith-filled community. We experience Christ
through the Body of Christ that's here on earth: through the Eucharist
that is given to us by priests and other ministers of communion, and
through the communion of fellowship, i.e., the community of the local
church and the community of far-away friends who are as near as a
phone call or text message.
He embraces us through the hugs that others give us. He speaks to us
through the vocal chords of people he inspires. He gives us his
comforting shoulder to cry on when we lean on friends who care.
We progress in the faith more quickly, we heal more deeply, and we
learn more about trusting God when we seek him and find him in the
love of Christian companions. To do this, we have to put aside our
pride in self-sufficiency. We have to accept what others offer to
Do you have at least four friends who will carry you closer to Jesus –
one for each corner of your mat, so to speak? To find them, we have to
get involved in the community life of the Church. Your parish has a
variety of opportunities, from ministries that can use our talents to
social events that gather people for fun.
It makes no sense to think that we can be in a good relationship wi
God without being in community with other faith-filled believers.
Questions for Personal Reflection:What makes you lame? What's
paralyzing you from trusting God more? What has caused you to sit down
on the roadside of your personal growth? Name four friends who carry
you closer to Jesus. If you cannot, what will you do to build more
2 Cor 1:18-22
Hope is the theme of the First Sunday of Advent. In the readings for Mass, Isaiah describes a future in which all is well because (1) God is recognized as the highest authority and (2) obeying him is the people's highest priority. This vision gave great hope to the oppressed Israelites. Today if we look at this as a description of heaven, it gives great hope to us, too. When we die, "terms" will be "imposed" upon us because we did not stay entirely on the paths of God (a good reason for purgatory), but we will be living in the light of the Lord after death and there will be no more wars to battle.