Gleanings from the Fathers concerning the Paralytic

The Gospel read on the Second Sunday of Great Lent

In the paralytic, all the Gentiles are brought to Him to be healed. He accordingly is brought by the ministry of angels; he is called son, because he is the work of God; the sins of his soul are forgiven, which the law could not forgive. For faith only justifies. Then he manifests the power of the resurrection, when, by taking up his bed, he teaches that in heaven bodies shall be without infirmity.

St Hilary Bishop of Potiers, cited in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers vol. 4. Pg. 180


The Soul is sick

In figure, the soul lying sick in its body, its power enfeebled, is offered to the Lord, the Perfect Physician, to be cured

St Jerome, cited in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers vol. 4. Pg. 181


Ask for Help

... Let us say again what we have said before: That anyone who is sick should seek the help in prayer of others, that they may be restored to health; that through their intercession, the enfeebled frame of our body, the wavering footsteps of our deeds, may be restored to health by the remedy of the heavenly word. Let there be therefore be certain helpers of the soul (monitores), to raise the soul of man, even lying indifferent in the weakness of the outer body, so that by their assistance it may be easy for a man to raise himself and lower himself again, to be placed in the sight of Jesus; worthy to appear in the Lord's sight. For the Lord looks with affection on the humble: Because "he hath regarded the humility of His handmaid" (Lk 1:48)

St Ambrose, Bishop of Milan

Cited in Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers vol. 4. Pg. 182-183


Take up Thy bed and walk

In this place He gives a complete likeness of the resurrection. Healing wounds of mind and body, He forgives the sins of souls and makes an end to the infirmity of the flesh: This is to cure the whole man. And though it is a great thing to forgive men their sins (for who can forgive sins but God alone, Who also forgives them through those to whom He has given the power of forgiving sin?) nevertheless, it is a much more divine work to give resurrection to their bodies; because the Lord is Himself the Resurrection

St Ambrose Op. Cit. Pg. 183


Go into Thine House

House is also used to mean the dwelling place of the heart. So to a certain man who was cured was it said: Go into thy house (Mk 5:19) for it is fitting that a sinner after he is forgiven, should return again to his own mind, lest he yield again to that for which he will justly be punished.

St Gregory the Dialogist, Pope of Rome

Op. Cit. Pg. 192


O if we but chose!

O if we but chose! Brethren, if we but chose to look into every paralysis of our mind, and see our soul as it lies abandoned upon its bed of sin; we would see it clearly as Christ sees us; urging us, even unwilling, towards His saving remedies!

St Peter Chrysologos Op. Cit. Pg. 190

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