The Gospel according to Mark.
Again, he entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
Opening Prayer: Almighty ever-living God, who governs all things,
both in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the pleading of your people
and bestow your peace on our times. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen
Encountering Christ: How many times have you went ‘out’ of your way to avoid someone walking near you that was noticeably living on the streets? If we were honest with ourselves, your answer would not be the same as Jesus. You need to ask yourself, “How did they get to this point in their lives?” How many people in our community is one step away from being in this same place? It is such, that
it seems to be overwhelming. Where does the healing begin? It starts with the simple acknowledgment of the person as a human being, created by God.
Jesus always taught before he healed. Healing was the physical part of his teaching. Jesus asked the man to stretch out his hand, and the hand was healed. Christ had no reason to ask the man to stretch out his hand. Healing wasn’t dependent on the man’s participation. Christ was teaching all who were present that the very thing which caused the man to be detested from society was a metaphoric sign of belonging. Jesus saw a man with a need, not a needy man.
Jesus was never frightened by any of his encounters with those perceived as outcasts of society. Jesus often said, “Do not be afraid!” He welcomed the man, not the opportunity to outshine the Pharisees as “Teacher of the Law.”
Closing Prayer: May God, the source and origin of all blessing, grant you grace, pour out His blessing in abundance, and keep you safe from harm, today and
throughout the year. Amen
Action for the Day: Seek out those in need in your own parish by asking who needs help. There are safe ways to help others, even in this time of this horrific pandemic. There are many programs that offer a multitude of ways you can help. Check with your parish office to find out how you can help the healing of the human spirit.