the need for community

Seraphim has an excellent post taken from the Sunday Gospel.  It relates a lot to what a friend and I were recently discussing:

When I look at today’s Gospel, I see two such characters that I instantly identify with. From these nameless people, I learn something important about our faith and about the Church, something that I think is important for all of us to understand. That is because these characters teach us two crucial things. The first is this: that Christianity is not a solo project. There is a reason that Christ created the Church, and did not leave us as free agents, seeking salvation outside of community. Yet paradoxically, the second is this: our faith is intensely personal, that we carry within ourselves the seeds of our own destruction, which we must confront and struggle against.

It is in the nameless friends of the paralytic that we learn of community. The story is compelling. Jesus has been out of town for a few days, and His return home has people excited. St. Mark tells us that a huge crowd came to the house to hear Jesus, so big that they spilled out into the street. It was impossible for even a healthy person to push through the excited people into the house where Jesus was, much less four nameless men who are carrying their ill and crippled friend on his bed.

A lot of people would have given up and gone home. A lot of other people would decide that the best thing they could do would be to stay outside the house and hope that they could get Jesus’ attention if He ever came out. But these four men were not to be denied. Pushing their way through the crowd, they climbed to the roof of the house, and actually broke a hole through the ceiling, and lowered their friend inside the house, to the very feet of Jesus.

We ask ourselves:
Could the paralytic have made his own way to Christ? No.

Read the rest of his post at Ancient Church


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