Hebrews 4:1-5, 11
There is only one joy for me that equals the wonder and excitement of travel and that is…coming home. That first moment when I walk in the door after being away is like seeing real beauty for the first time. The walls may be worn, the cat may be cranky, the plants may be limp, but I’m home, and oh boy, it looks like heaven to me.
I wonder if Jesus ever got to walk in his house and just disappear and "regroup" for awhile. Today’s Gospel tells us it wasn’t the case at Capernaum. We know of Jesus’ excruciating journey to the Cross, but what must it have been like to carry the burden of souls, their wishes and shattered dreams, every day of His life, every moment? How in the world did He bear the weight of all those people seeking relief so desperately–the poor, the lonely, the lame, the sick, and the outcast?
"Child, your sins are forgiven." There is such heart-rending compassion, gentleness of spirit, and presence in those five simple words. Jesus didn’t take a nap when he got home, "take five," or promise to be in touch later. Jesus was there, as He always is for each of us, ready to forgive and heal. Moved by the faith of the crowd and despite the criticisms of the naysayers, Jesus proved that the lame can indeed get up and be freed from what cripples them. And, by breaking through our own walls that keep us from Christ, so can we.
I truly hope that Jesus laid down his sweet head to rest more than just when he was a baby in the manger. But I suspect that his short life on earth was lived far less restfully, although certainly He lived it with open eyes, open hands, and a truly open heart.
Nancy Nickel is the director of communications with the Passionist Development Office in Chicago, Illinois.