The sense of Bible passages become clearer when we compare them with what we find elsewhere n the Bible.
First, today’s Gospel story from Chapter Nine of Matthew is enhanced by comparing it with the same story in Chapter Two of Mark.
Secondly, we see the aptness of the Responsorial Psalm’s words “The fear of the Lord is pure” when we weigh them with Chapter Eleven of Isaiah, and with today’s first reading’s picture of the outspoken Amos.
This Chapter Nine of Matthew comes alive when we read Mark’s version of the story in his Chapter Two. There we have the delightful details of the men carrying the paralytic having the great crowd keeping them from getting the man on the stretcher close to Jesus.
Using their ingenuity, they carried the stretcher up onto the flat roof of the synagogue. There, after they had taken away enough roof tiles to make an opening, they lowered the man on ropes, dangling him right in front of Jesus. The story in Mark then proceeds just as we have it today in Matthew.
Chapter Eleven of Isaiah described the virtues of the Messiah when he would come. He would have Wisdom, Understanding. Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord. The passage went on to say that of those six, the finest would be Fear of the Lord.
Amos was not an established Prophet, he was just a vine dresser. Two things earned him a place in the Bible. One was his burning awareness of God’s holiness. The other was his horror at seeing men doing evil in God’s holy presence.