＊＊＊ 1st Reading ＊＊＊
Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
Therefore let us fear
while we are invited to enter the rest of God, lest any of you be left behind. We received the Gospel exactly as they did, but hearing the message did them no good, because they did not share the faith of those who did listen.
We are now to enter this rest because we believed, as it was said: I was angry and made a solemn vow: they will never enter my rest—that is the rest of God after he created the world. In another part it was said about the seventh day:
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works. But now it is said: They will not enter my rest. Let us strive, then, to enter the rest and not to share the misfortune of those who disobeyed.
Ps 78:3 & 4bc, 6c-7, 8
Do not forget the works of the Lord!
＊＊＊＊ Gospel ＊＊＊＊
After some days Jesus returned to Capernaum. As the news spread that he was at home, so many people gathered that there was no longer room even outside the door. While Jesus was preaching the Word to them, some people brought a paralyzed man to him.
The four men who carried him couldn’t get near Jesus because of the crowd, so they opened the roof above the room where Jesus was and, through the hole, lowered the man on his mat. When Jesus saw the faith of these people, he said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”
Now, some teachers of the Law who were sitting there wondered within themselves, “How can he speak like this insulting God? Who can forgive sins except God?” At once Jesus knew through his spirit what they were thinking and asked, “Why do you wonder?
Is it easier to say to this paralyzed man: ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say: ‘Rise, take up your mat and walk?’ But now you shall know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.”
And he said to the paralytic, “Stand up, take up your mat and go home.” The man rose and, in the sight of all those people, he took up his mat and went out. All of them were astonished and praised God saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
The paralyzed man was lying helpless in his mat. On his own, he could not to Jesus. This is where his friends entered the scene. What he could not do because of his physical condition, they did for him.
Even the crowds could not stop them from bringing their friend to Jesus. They climb the rooftop, made an aperture and from there lower their friend in front of Jesus.
Friends like these who go the extra mile for us are precious. They are lifelines in time of need. May we nurture friendship that brings out friends who love and care in good times and bad.