The Gospel story of the paralytic and his friends (Mark 2:1-12) has important lessons for today’s families.
In the story, four friends of a paralyzed man were so determined to get their friend cured, that they tore the roof off a house so they could lower their friend before Jesus. These friends carried their paralyzed friend on a stretcher, lifted him onto the roof and lowered him inside, and got him right in front of Jesus. They were like family to the paralytic, in the sense that they are helpful, compassionate and caring. When we are sick, we want people who are close to us to be like family for us and willing to help. In the same way, we want to be helpful, compassionate and caring for the members of our families.
Sometimes we realize that a family member needs the healing power of Jesus. We long to get our wife or husband, or daughter or son, or sister or brother, into the healing presence of Jesus. We see that we need to be as determined as the four friends in the story who brought their friend where he was unable to get on his own.
Family members may need healing from illness, persistent disease, addiction, personality disorders, divorce, suicide, accidents, misfortunes, setbacks, unemployment, anxiety, depression, worry or stress. Proper medical treatment and therapy can be enhanced by bringing our family members into the healing presence of Jesus. We do this in our families by praying to Jesus for healing, with and for each other.
The friends in this Gospel story carried their friend onto the roof, dismantled it and lowered him inside the house where Jesus was. In families we are called to carry one another and to bring each other through prayer into the healing presence of Jesus.