In the gospel we read today, we meet a man whose name we do not know except that he is paralysed. Bible commentators say that the story in the gospel of Luke 5, 1-15 is probably a parable.

A story that Jesus made up. Therefore, what Jesus says, and the man says and what everybody does is important because it is what God wants us to learn from this event.

The paralysed man is certainly not the best example of humanity – nor is he the worst. He is like so many of us. Jesus tells us that he is paralysed because of his sins. He is self-centred even in his illness. He does not answer when asked “Do you want to be healed?” He instead talks about all his problems; how hard it is to live. Jesus loves all of us equally despite our sin. So he heals him.

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The paralysed man does not know who healed him – until a few days later he meets Jesus again. Then he tells the authorities that it was Jesus who did it, even though he knows that they want to kill Jesus. The man does not care – it is all about him and his needs. Jesus tells him not to sin or it will get worse for him.

There is sin in the world today and there is suffering, lots of it. We know about the virus but something we might not know, is that this virus or the lack of the virus are making us suffer equally and sometimes it is worse when if we do not have the disease, but are in quarantine.

As there are more children at home and there is less money, people stop talking to each other using the virus rules as an excuse not to live in a normal Christian manner.

In short, we are noticing that children are suffering from stress, because they see what is happening to their families, the depression, the worries, and the arguments.  As there are more children at home and there is less money, people stop talking to each other using the virus rules as an excuse not to live in a normal Christian manner.

Some people are saying these newly created problems will take longer to heal than curing the virus itself. We see more people thinking about divorce and other things.

In Australia, a sad statistic is that 4 times more people have died from the result of not handling the problems associated with the virus than have died from the disease itself.

It is good to look at what Jesus is saying to us in the gospel today.

He loves us despite the fact that we do not understand or are sinful or selfish or know who can heal us. He says – “go and sin no more”.

Jesus is a man of mercy. The man who suffered for 38 years had no-one to help him. Jesus did not ignore him, even though most people would have.

He loves us despite the fact that we do not understand or are sinful or selfish or know who can heal us. He says – “go and sin no more”.

Jesus respects our human freedom as God allowed the revolt of Adam and Eve, even the freedom to make the wrong choices. God said that He would send us a saviour; He has sent His Son, Jesus Christ. We are weak, but we must choose Jesus and not sin. Jesus is waiting for us.

The pool is also a symbol of a place where we can be baptized, choose faith, renewal, the mercy, and power of God.

Jesus sets up our family, our church – even though they have problems within them, our families, our church is also our strength , we need them, within them we do not have to wait for 38 years for someone to help us.

We in our families and church who can see the pain caused by life and the virus, cannot just sit around and watch people suffer, we must fulfill our Christian obligation to help eliminate the pain.

Are we ready to help others who need help in order to be healed?

Bishop Peter Stasiuk C.Ss.R. AM

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