January 18th, 2023

The Gospel According to Mark 3:1-6

Jesus 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.

Reflection: How many times do we hear the word ‘angry or anger’ from the mouth of Jesus? Not many! Maybe 5 or 6 times throughout the Gospels. How about God, our Father? In the Hebrew scriptures we hear it as God’s anger and wrath repeatedly against his people for their disobedience. Is this anger or more like a disappointment for their actions, lack of actions, or more likely that the Israelites just didn’t ‘get it’. How about us? Deep down inside in each of us, we know the difference between right and wrong. Have you ever heard that tiny little voice inside your head that says to you, “Don’t do that or stop, this is not the best thing to do.” Some would call that voice your conscious, others would call that the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit tries to guide us on the ‘right’ path or direction that leads us to a greater joy and love, and not just for others but for ourselves and for our salvation. When it starts with us, this love inside of us, spills over into others. 

In this Gospel passage, Mark uses the example of the man with the withered hand as His definition of what happens when someone has lost his vitality with life. He has lost the moisture in his feelings and has become incapable of love or any positive action. Jesus only tells him to ‘stretch out your hand’ and immediately he feels God’s healing power and love simply from Jesus’ words. 

Action of the Day: Are we always the best version of ourselves? Probably not, I know that I’m not. But I have been able, through prayer and God’s guidance, to be more aware of those times when l am not, so that I can correct my mental position to be kinder and more thoughtful to those I encounter. What is your inner voice telling you? Are you listening? 

Audio Reflection:

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