This Gospel reflection is about the story of Jesus encountering a paralyzed man, whose friends bring him to Jesus.
The Gospel Account
Jesus is so surrounded by people that a direct approach is not possible. The man’s friends go to extremes by opening the roof above Jesus, and lowering the man, mat and all, right in front of Jesus. Jesus saw their faith and love for their friend. Jesus forgave the man’s sins and told him to ‘rise, pick up your mat, and go home.’ And the man did.
The full text of the Scripture may be found in Luke 5:17-26.
The Five Decades
When you pray the five decades of this Rosary Reflection, use these five moments from the Gospel story. Read the Gospel verses for each decade and let the words sink in as you pray that decade.
First Decade: Jesus Teaches a Crowd (Luke 5:17)
One day as Jesus was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and Jerusalem, and the power of the Lord was with him for healing.
Second Decade: The Paralytic Encounters Jesus (Luke 5:18-20)
And some men brought on a stretcher a man who was paralyzed; they were trying to bring him in and set [him] in his presence. 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. When he saw their faith, he said, “As for you, your sins are forgiven.”
Third Decade: Jesus Challenges the Scribes (Luke 5:21-23)
Then the scribes and the Pharisees began to ask themselves, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them in reply, “What are you thinking in your hearts? Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk?’
Fourth Decade: Jesus Speaks the Words of Healing (Luke 5:24)
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins” – he said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home.”
Fifth Decade: Rising, Going Home, and Glorifying God (Luke 5:25-26)
He stood up immediately before them, picked up what he had been lying on, and went home, glorifying God. Then astonishment seized them all, and they glorified God, and struck with awe, they said, “We have seen incredible things today.”
What to Remember
These Gospel verses reflect the grace and power of Jesus to forgive sin and heal those who are paralyzed in life – those who are afraid or unable to move forward with living freely. Family and friends who are stuck in life: ill with a physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual condition.
As a follower of Jesus, you can “lower the mat” to bring your loved ones in front of Jesus for healing. You can also ask the “Saints in Your Corner,” those who have died and abide in God’s glory (Mary, your family, friends, and canonized saints), to help you “open the roof” and pray along with you.
Intention and Prayer Circle
The Person I am Asking Jesus to Remember
“Saints in My Corner” Prayer Circle Asking Too:
Where This Gospel Appears
This Gospel account is found in Chapter 5 of the Gospel of Luke.
* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible