(by the way, Lent is coming...ok, there. I've joined the rabble!)
Now, let's not speed too far past today. The Gospel (Mk 2:1-12)talks about a group of guys who bring their sick friend to Jesus on a stretcher...through the roof. I'm sorry, but does anyone else out there notice the sheer comic value this scene promises? You just got to give these audacious boys some credit. Seeing the large group of folks gathered at the entrances of where the Master was preaching, they spy their entry route. Can you picture the group trying to get the guy up there to begin with? Did they hoist him and then throw the stretcher up? Did they hoist the stretcher and throw him? No wonder he wasn't talking to anyone by the time he "arrived".
And let's stop to pause at the grand entrance. Jesus, speaking on some relevent theme, shall we say, healing or forgiveness or repentance, and then...oh a little dust and straw can be seen filtering down from the ceiling rather unexpectedly. Maybe a board or two drop...ker-thud. Can the Lord remain straight-faced? The Gospel is a tad silent on the reaction of those gathered in the cramped meeting place. I would suspect some grumpies are agitated by now. Sorta how I get when someone's cell phone starts to play music during the readings. Ok, so the roof just opened and there are people trying to peek in. Well, they got their cheap seats, now back to the main Event. Hold on a second...these blokes are actually lowering a body down on...a stretcher? The gall! But wait...the Teacher isn't reprimanding them. No, he, he's stopping mid sentence and telling him something...what's this?
"CHILD-YOUR SINS ARE FORGIVEN"
How DARE he say such blasphemies. Who is HE to forgive sins...oh...he's, he's looking right at me saying something. Naw, he must be talking to Elias here, next to me, but it's almost like he's boring a hole right into my soul with a question:
"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?'
But that you may know
that the Son of Man has authority to forgive sins on earth"
I swear I thought I heard him just order this paralyzed guy to pick up his....I'll be darned. He's...he's on his FEET. He's WALKING! HE'S ON HIS FEET... WALKING! I've never seen such a thing. No one's going to believe this back at the temple. Not a soul.
And that smile on the Teacher's face? That smile....astounding.