Luke 5:17-26 Let’s Go For It!
Lord, increase my faith for I long to see your face!
All of us go through tough times. But how we handle them makes all the difference in the world. Christians are called by Christ never to despair. Despair, like all sins, impedes us from our greatest desire. We are called to the light by the Light of the world. We do not know the way out! He does and whispers to me, “Come follow me!” Will I?
What life is all about? It is a gift that must be lived - consumed, rather than preserved. We have but one chance to live our lives to the full. To be consumed and immersed in God’s love, God’s grace, God’s power. We have been called by our Savior into existence. He willed us into life. Therefore, we have been named for one purpose: to by Holy – Imitate me. No wonder why St. Francis was so successful. No wonder why I continue to have this desire to be more radical in my approach towards him. He went for it! He decided to do it and it created a ripple effect that continues to inspire us to this day. St. Francis is the Advent and Christmas Saint!
Discipline is necessary. Courage is required. It may mean we go against the Law, the majority, the latest trends, the crowd, the seasons and the times. But we know what we must do: Go for it! Take a leap of faith! Take a chance! Do what is right, good and holy! Do what the paralytic man did: He went for Jesus and he did not fail!
This poor man didn’t have a chance. He couldn’t walk and could barely speak. But his eyes spoke to the men carrying him: I must see Him! It’s not enough that He exists. It’s not enough that he is here. I need to know that he exists for me and that I can count on Him!
The problem is the crowd. It is in the way. They have settled for less – mediocrity. They stay a safe distance from the Lord. Just like the vast majority of parishioners, no one likes to sit in the front. They remain a safe distance away. But I? I want to become one of these “Jesus Freaks!” And here is the ultimate irony: the Scribes and Pharisees are up in front. They are so close and yet so far away. They do not seek to know Christ, but to know his tricks. They are the intelligent and well educated, the sophisticated or the scholars of our day from Oxford that lead the New Atheism. They are so, so close and yet so proud. “Who needs Him? Who needs Jesus?” God’s response is, “Who needs you?” as he continues to heal a broken man’s wounds.
If I want to see “incredible things today”, then I must take a leap of faith. Go for it. Go in search of a lost friend or make the phone call. If I have wronged someone, give them four times what they deserve. Reunite yourself with a family member, a lost relative, a forgotten sibling, an estranged friend. Be kind and loving, merciful and compassionate. But there is even better: text your enemy today and let them know that you love them and are thinking of them; that you would love to get together with them. Pray for someone but don’t stop there. The Lord prayed for us and healed us.
Advent is a wakeup call from God to us. Life is short. Jesus is saying, “Come to me!” All the readings this week take us to the real life adventures of those who went for it, who decided to take a leap of faith and go after Jesus. The readings are all about going for it! This must be our response to, Come to me. As Christmas quickly approaches, let’s start on our journey. Let’s start walking now! Let’s put a hole in the roof and see the glory of God.