The Paralytic was like an unburied corpse. He saw You and shouted: “Lord, have mercy on me! My bed has become my grave! Why should I live? What use is the Sheep’s Pool to me? I have no one to put me into the pool when the waters are stirred, but I come to You, O Fountain of healing. Raise me up, that with all I may cry to You: ‘Glory to You, O almighty Lord!’”(Lord I Call…verse Sunday of the Paralytic)
Many of us can relate to this verse from the Vespers service. How often do we come to church year after year and see no change for the better in us? How often do we cry as in the verse, “What use is the Sheep’s Pool to me?” The paralytic had been ill with his affliction for 38 years. During that time, he continued to come to the pool hoping someone would take him to water after the angel touched that water. But others beat him to the punch. So he waited but received no healing. Then our Lord approaches him and asks, “Do you want to be healed?” The paralytic replies “I have no man to take me to the water that I might be healed.” Jesus then commands him to “rise, take up your pallet and return to your home.”
There are two thoughts I wish to convey to families. First, keep showing up for work! Even when going to church makes no sense, keep on showing up like the paralytic did in this reading from St. John. The paralytic did this for 38 years before he found healing. A time will come where our perseverance and faith will prevail.
Secondly, when the paralytic says “I have no man,” Christ becomes that man to bring the paralytic what he needs. We need as a church to be that man who is available to minister to those in need, whether a family member, a work companion, a school friend, a neighbor, a stranger, or a fellow churchgoer.
It might be a good idea to have a family conversation about how you each relate to this Vespers verse. And then, how in our lives we can be that man that comes to one who is helpless and is in need of attention and loving care.
Christ is risen!