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7th Sunday in Ordinary Time – Importance of Community

“Many gathered together so that there was no longer room for them, not even around the door, and he preached the word to them. They came bringing to him a paralytic carried by four men. Unable to get near Jesus because of the crowd, they opened up 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.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there asking themselves, ‘Why does this man speak that way? He is blaspheming. 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?” 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’” (Mark 2:2-11).

Over and over in the stories of miraculous cures, Jesus revealed the emphasis on faith. Faith was the requirement for these healing miracles.

This miracle showed not only the faith of the paralytic but the faith of his friends. The extraordinary measures they took to lower him through the roof so he could be healed by Jesus! Jesus recognized that this was not simply an individual request for healing or an individual act of faith; it was that of a community.

Community is the very essence of faith. The faith of the Church is entrusted to you at your baptism with your godparents representing the others in the community. In turn, you are expected to pass that faith on. As you grow and continue your faith journey, you learn and are inspired by the community of your family, your workplace, and the Church.

Without these communities, your faith life would be paralyzed. Only with their help can you come to meet Christ, whether it is through the sacrament of reconciliation, the Eucharist, or even a friendly word when times are tough. Like the paralytic in this passage, we need our community to develop spiritually. Nobody does it alone.

What communities have supported and challenged you on your faith journey?

Adapted from Word on the Go, a downloadable resource from RENEW International

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