But not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus.
From Luke 5:17-26 for Monday of the Second Week of Advent.
Helpers of a paralyzed man showed their faith in Christ’s healing might, breaking open a roof to get the man to Christ.
But they and the crowd got more than they were seeking.
NO ONE asked for forgiveness of sins.
Yet the first thing Christ chose to do was tell the paralytic: your sins are forgiven.
Showing first his Godly might to forgive the man’s sins, Christ then spoke again to give new might to the man’s stricken body as well: I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.
Christ, True God and True Man— truly a pure spirit as God, and truly a man of flesh and blood born two thousand years ago— Christ is savior of both soul and body.
We are neither soul alone nor body alone, but both together, and so is Christ in his humanity.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. [Creed]
Then, souls shall never sin anew, and those who truly served for love of God and neighbor will rejoice forever bodily in a new heaven and a new earth [Revelation 21:1].
As we each say it in the Creed at Sunday Mass: I look forward to the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
Here in today’s Gospel, Christ touched a man’s soul and body with the might of the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
When Christ comes back to us all, he will fulfill us everlastingly in body and soul, through and through, with the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.
We look to that with these first days of Advent, praying especially what Christ taught us to ask the heavenly Father: Thy kingdom come.
When Christ comes back, his Father will bust open the roof of our days and our world, and let his kingdom come.
He will at last make new both heaven and earth.
Thy kingdom come— we will pray of it again later in the Mass today, with The Lord’s Prayer, but first with a prayer [Preface of Advent 1] that is special to these first days of Advent.
… Lord, holy Father…
Christ our Lord… assumed at his first coming
the lowliness of human flesh,
and so fulfilled the design you formed long ago,
and opened for us the way to eternal salvation,
that, when he comes again in glory and majesty
and all is at last made manifest,
we who watch for that day
may inherit the great promise
in which now we dare to hope.
That prayer is more than a thousand and four hundred years old, and was for the feast of Christ’s Ascension, when he stepped bodily into heaven, whence we look for him to come back.
When he does, he will fulfill what he began long ago in today’s Gospel and as he goes on doing and promising in the might of his Eucharistic Body and Blood: to save us from our sins and give everlasting life to our bodies.
Turn. Love. Repeat.