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May 2003 

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Standing up in his house




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Standing up in his house
Mark 2, 1-12:the healing of a paralytic

The healing of a paralytic happened in Capernaum. The name of that village is a whole program of salvation. In Hebrew "Kefar Nahum" means the village of Nahum and Nahum is "the comforted". Jesus chose his home in the village of the comforted.  guérison du paralytique

In Kefar Nahum, the event is happening in Jesus' home, that is in fact the house of Peter and Andre. The text mentions another house, the one of the paralytic. "Go to your house" It might be not far from Jesus' house but what a journey for the paralytic. We can underline several aspects of it.
A way to surprise

chemin de surprise Until that day the paralytic has only known the deadlock of motionless and dependency.  
The solid faith of his stretcher bearers had to meet a challenging route: the door of the house being blocked by the many people listening to Jesus, they had to imagine another way, through the roof, with the risk to let the poor man fall… It is a kind of a reverse situation in requesting the help of God. A disabled person lying in bed in his house sees mainly the ceiling: when he implores God to be healed, it is somewhat like the prophet Isaiah: "O if you were tearing up the sky, if you were coming down to me!" But now the Highest has become the "Lowest", he is not in the highest but under the roof, in the house of the humans and it is there that we have to join him, by tearing apart the roof ourselves, the roof is the symbol of the boundaries and the restrictions that we put between him and us.
Surprise by the welcome on his arrival! Probably the paralytic was expecting the word of Jesus to put him back on his feet but he heard" Your sins are forgiven!" He was coming for an immediate healing but he understood that there might be other urgent matters.
A way to dignity

chemin de dignité Jesus does not present to the people the paralytic like a notorious sinner, taken in the act; this will be a source of humiliation in front of the others. To forgive some body without exposing him publicly, Jesus cannot find a better occasion than this man without movement and voice who reminds of an innocent child. Jesus makes it known to him by informally saying to him; "My baby" (in Greek, "Tecknon", the little one)
A way to truth

chemin de vérité All the same, the paralytic cannot escape his adulthood condition and Jesus takes him along a way of truth. If he is a sinner, it is a sign that he is not a sub-human; he is able to say in himself "no" to somebody including to God.  
From this, Jesus recalls to the crowd that sin is not first a gesture or a crime committed in the open: "Out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts" (Mark 7, 21), and these thoughts can very well exist in a motionless man.
To the paralytic, the wake up of his conscience is the first step to stand up again. And the forgiveness of Jesus makes him aware that God loves him as a true son in its humanity. Then, "Rise and take up your pallet and walk" in front of everybody to show where you are coming from.
A way to freedom

chemin de liberté
Last recommendation:
" Go to your house" The healed man is sent back to his own conscience, to his ordinary life, to the new course he will have to invent, to a way of freedom. 
His house will be from now on the house of a man healed in his body and soul. He will now pray Jesus of Capernaum who visits and "comforts" his people.