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 Mark 2:1-12.
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 Returns Home (Mark 2:1-2)
When Jesus returned to Capernaum after some days, it became known that he was at home. Many gathered so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them.
Second Decade: The Paralytic Encounters Jesus (Mark 2:3-5)
They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened the roof above him. After they had broken through, they let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Child, your sins are forgiven.”
Third Decade: Jesus Challenges the Scribes (Mark 2:6-9)
Now some of the scribes were sitting there, asking themselves, “Why does this man speak this way? Who but God alone can forgive sins?” Jesus immediately knew in his mind what they were thinking to themselves, so he said, “Why are you thinking such things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, pick up your mat, and walk?’
Fourth Decade: Jesus Speaks the Words of Healing (Mark 2:10-11)
“But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth” – he said to the paralytic, “I say to you, rise, pick up your mat, and go home.
Fifth Decade: Rising, Going Home, and Glorifying God (Mark 2:12)
He rose, picked up his mat at once. and went away in the sight of everyone. They were all astounded and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”
What to Remember
These Gospel verses reflect the 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:
When This Gospel Appears
Luke’s Gospel account in the Gospel reading on the Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time in Cycle B of the Lectionary.
* Scripture passages are from the United Conference of Catholic Bishops website, https://usccb.org/bible