The Way of the Redeemed

Both readings today could provoke us to ask ourselves the following questions:

In what ways am I blind?

In what situations am I deaf?

How am I lame?

In what way is my tongue mute?

Isaiah proclaims:

Then will the eyes of the blind be opened,
the ears of the deaf be cleared;
Then will the lame leap like a stag,
then the tongue of the mute will sing (Isaiah 35:5-6).

Then. When?

The Gospel announces that Jesus Christ is the One who gives us sight, who opens our ears, who gives us the strength to stand and walk, who releases our tongue so we can proclaim.

If we reflect on the Gospel story, Jesus did indeed heal the paralyzed man. Not a word is spoken by this person or his friends. In this passage, they are mute. The paralyzed man is lame. As Jesus speaks to the paralyzed man, it is clear that he can hear and that he can see something so mysterious and beyond his expectations that at the word of Jesus, he stands up immediately, picks up his mat as he is instructed, and goes home as he had been ordered. The tongues of all those present, well almost all, were freed as they began to praise God, “We have seen incredible things today.”

One group of people in the room that day, a number of scribes and Pharisees, questioned what Jesus was doing. He did not fit into their perception of a man from God, a rabbi faithful to the Law. They were already blinded, unable to hear words that didn’t match the ideas of the echo-chamber of their personal group. They were lame, unable to leap at the voice of God in their midst, and their tongue was not loosed with awe and praise. They remained mute, blind, and deaf at the end of the passage, while everyone else acclaimed Jesus.

So we truly might ask ourselves the very crucial questions:

In what ways am I blind?

In what situations am I deaf?

How am I lame?

In what way is my tongue mute?

What echo-chambers do I stay in so that I only willingly listen to the ideas that are already in my mind and heart?

Where am I missing the glorious work of God at work all around me so that I remain mute, paralyzed, and blind instead of praising God and obeying his commands?

What causes me to remain endlessly wrapped in this world’s concerns that I cannot hear the voice of God breaking in on a different topic as he did for the paralyzed man: “As for you, your sins are forgiven”? For sure he was hoping to hear the words, You are cured!

Friends, at the end of today, at the end of Advent, we don’t want to be among the ones who remain mute, blind, deaf, lame.

Advent reminds us of the promise that is also ours:

Streams will burst forth in the desert,
and rivers in the steppe.
The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water….

A highway will be there,
called the holy way.…

It is for those with a journey to make,
and on it the redeemed will walk.
Those whom the LORD has ransomed will return
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy (Isaiah 35:6-7, 8, 9-10).

Willingly, freely, joyfully, make that journey, walk on the way of the redeemed, that you may be crowned with everlasting joy.

Contact the author

Sr. Kathryn J. HermesKathryn James Hermes, FSP, is the author of the newly released title: Reclaim Regret: How God Heals Life’s Disappointments, by Pauline Books and Media. An author and spiritual mentor, she offers spiritual accompaniment for the contemporary Christian’s journey towards spiritual growth and inner healing. She is the director of My Sisters, where people can find spiritual accompaniment from the Daughters of St. Paul on their journey. Website: Public Facebook Group: For monthly spiritual journaling guides, weekly podcasts and over 50 conferences and retreat programs join my Patreon community:

Feature Image Credit: Milagre da “cura do paralítico em Cafarnaum” (Mateus 9:1-8;Marcos 2:1-12; Lucas 5:17-26). © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro / CC BY-SA 3.0