Marcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

catechetical resourses for the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative RCIA in

the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative adult

education in the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative

Exploring the Catholic ChurchMarcellino D'Ambrosio, Crossroads Initiative Early

Church Fathers
Crossroads Initiatitve, a ministry of Dr. Marcellino


Pick up your Mat and Go Home -- Healing of the Paralytic

Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio"Pick up Your Mat and Go Home"

The Healing of the Paralytic

by Marcellino D'Ambrosio



Pick Up your Mat and Go Home!

What the healing of the paralytic as recounted in the Gospel of Mark teaches us about the faith of the community and even infant baptism.


Sometimes we act as if sins are just black marks against us in God’s ledger, debits against our rewards account.


But the gospel story of the paralytic (Mark 2:1-12) should wake us up to the real nature of sin. For sin is more than a demerit–it is distancing of a person from God, who happens to be our source of life and energy. God’s Holy Spirit is “the force” that must be with us if we are to have life and strength and vigor.


Sin is always a result of a decision. Original Sin, flowing from the tragic decision of Adam and Eve, causes us to inherit a weakened humanity which, from the moment of conception, is distanced from God. Actual sin results from each person’s own decisions. Some decisions can cut us off entirely from the divine life source. We call these decisions “mortal.” Some decisions don’t snuff out divine life, but rather weaken it. Such sins are called “venial.”

Pick Up Your Mat - Healing of the Paralytic Man

But whether original or actual, mortal or venial, sin always drains the life right out of us. As we walk away from God, we grow spiritually weaker and weaker till we come to the point that we no longer have the strength to walk back home to our Father.


When Jesus returned to Capernaum after his first mission trip, people flocked to him. But a paralyzed man couldn’t join the throng–he just lay there watching people pass him by. Until, that is, some of his friends cared enough to pick him up and bring him to Jesus. But then they encountered a problem–the crowd was so thick that they could not get their friend through the door. They could have consoled themselves that they tried, and then brought the poor man home. But they were more determined than that. They hoisted him up on the roof, opened a hole in the thatch, and lowered him down.


The gospel of Mark makes a curious comment at this point. Seeing their faith,” it says, Jesus turns to the paralyzed man and tells him that his sins are forgiven. First of all, note that faith is something that should be visible. The four stretcher carriers believed that Jesus was, at the very least, a mighty man of God who could help their friend. But this belief manifested itself in resolute, persistent, conspicuous action. And of course this faith was united with charity, since they had gone to such great lengths not for themselves but for their unfortunate friend.



Notice, however, that it was not the paralyzed man’s faith that prompted Jesus’ decision to forgive his sin. It was the faith of his friends. Perhaps his physical paralysis was a sign of utter spiritual paralysis–maybe he had not the strength to make a positive act of faith.


So his friends’ faith stood in proxy for his own. That’s exactly why infant baptism has always practiced in the Church from the beginning–the faith of parents, godparents, and the whole church stand in proxy for the infant who is incapable of faith.


The most deadly paralysis is the paralysis of sin. But when the Pharisees object to Jesus authority to heal this malady, to wipe out his past and give him a brand new start (Is 43:18-25), Jesus demonstrates his competence by healing the physical disease as well. Jesus does not say “yes” to our spiritual needs and say “no” to our earthly needs (2 Cor 1:18-22). He created us body and soul and desires that we have fullness of life, in every department, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).


Friend to Church - Healing of the Paralytic Man

So a tormented man who had to be carried to Jesus walked away bearing his own stretcher and free as a lark. It would never have happened, though, if his faith-filled friends had not cared enough to risk ridicule and disappointment to bring him to Jesus.


So when’s the last time you invited someone to church?


This was originally published in Our Sunday Visitor as a reflection upon the readings for the 7th Sunday in Ordinary Time, liturgical cycle B (Is 43:18-25 ; Ps 41, II Cor 1:18-22; Mk 2:1-12). It is reproduced here with permission of the author.



Follow Us -

Join us on FacebookJoin us on Facebook



Join us on TwitterJoin us on Twitter

Click here to download, print and share!

To Download, print and share "Pick Up Your Mat!" - Click Here!


For more Catholic resources to feed your faith, visit the Crossroads Initiative Homepage.

Win a Free CD - Catholic Online Resources

To sign up for our free weekly e-mail with Dr. D'Ambrosio's commentary on the Sunday readings, liturgical feasts, updates on where Dr. D will be speaking, a chance to WIN a FREE CD and MORE, CLICK HERE!

I Believe - The Heart of Catholic Faith

I Believe - The Heart of the Catholic Faith, The Nicence Creed, Catholic FaithFirst given as a Lenten retreat, this is an awesome 4 session program to revitalize your faith and prepare you for the joy of Easter. Great for individuals or families or small groups. The workbook is a treasure of discussion questions, devotions and spiritual exercises that can serve as an easy-to-follow roadmap through the Lenten season that will break you out of stale patterns and enrich both your prayer and your understanding of the central truths of the Catholic faith, empowering you to share that faith with others.

Exploring the Catholic Church
 Exploring the Catholic Church Introduction to Catholic Doctrine and Practice, a Roman Catholic Book Exploring the Catholic Church: An Introduction to Catholic Teaching and Practice by Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio is an accessible, affordable Roman Catholic Book--perfect gift for anyone!! -- the inactive Catholic, the Sunday Catholic wanting to know more, Protestants who want to know why Catholics do what they do.

Making the Most out of Lent - CD
 Lent, Catholic Church, Easter, Passion of Jesus Lent is not just about giving up junk food – it is about improving your own spiritual nutrition, and sharing the bread of life with a hungry world. In this talk you'll learn about the biblical and historical origins of the season, how we got the idea that Lent is about "giving stuff up," and how we can nourish ourselves spiritually so that we'll be different people when the Easter Alleluias finally sound in our ears this year.

The Great Adventure Bible Time Line

24 Talk Overview of Salvation History v2.0

on audio CD and DVD

by Jeff Cavins

Great Adventure Bible TimelineNow you can have Jeff Cavins as your personal Bible teacher in this one-of-a-kind audio CD series. This series offers a compelling overview of God’s plan of salvation. Beginning with the first talk, you will discover how the Bible Time Line system developed by Jeff Cavins answers many of the questions we all have about the people, places and events of the Bible. Once you understand the “big picture” of God’s plan of salvation—and where the various biblical characters fit in this overall story—you develop a new appreciation for the Scriptures. Your understanding of the Scripture readings at Mass will truly come alive. Begin the journey today. Order your full set of 12 CDs (24 talks) for your personal study, or for RCIA or other adult faith formation class!

For an overview of the Great Adventure Bible Timeline Series, CLICK HERE!

Click here for the Great Adventure Full Seminar Pack!

Audio CD - $149

DVD - $399



Home | Site Map | Links | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Free Newsletter | Win a CD | Calender | Donate Now!
A ministry of Crossroads Productions, Inc. + PO Box 271227 + Flower Mound, TX 75027 + 1.800.803.0118 + a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.