The Gospel according to Luke (6:6-11)
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up and stand before us.” And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
REFLECTION: Once again, the Scribes and the Pharisees are judging Jesus. I imagine Jesus in this world and being refereed. Jesus’ response would be, “Bro! Why are you “Trippin”? I’m here to help and to Love and to comfort. Do you have a problem with that?!” If the Scribes and the Pharisees are the people they say they are, or pretend to say they are, then they should welcome the good work from Jesus.
I understand that we need to embrace the Sabbath. I really get it and I do because there is nothing better than going to mass, then having breakfast with loved ones, and then taking a nap! But seriously, I understand the Jewish laws in the sacredness of honoring the Sabbath. And that includes how we honor this law even today. But there are legitimate arguments. For instance, if someone’s house catches fire on the Sabbath and if the fire fighters come the next day, it will be too late. If someone takes ill on the Sabbath, immediate care is necessary, should the doctor wait?
Jesus is simply trying to do good. He’s trying to help people. But he is disillusioned and challenged at everything that He does. Shouldn’t we do good when we have the opportunity to do so? He says straight out, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” Jesus sees a man with a withered hand. He has the ability to help that man because he probably will never cross paths with him again. He can heal that man and give him a considerably better quality of life. That would be a very good thing to do … right? But no … it’s the Sabbath. The scribes and Pharisees are right there looking for reasons to accuse Jesus. They are doing evil by accusing Jesus of working on the Sabbath, while he is doing good by helping someone who needs help. Jesus knows they are out to get him. He knows they will accuse him of breaking the Sabbath, but he still does the good thing, the right thing, even though he knows it will be considered wrong.
My sisters and brothers, being Humble means that we are recognizing that we are NOT on earth to become successful, but to see how much of a difference we can make in the lives of others. There is nothing in this world that can trouble you as much as your own thoughts. Each one of us is called not to be a follower of Christ but an instrument, an Apostle. We are meant to Carry the Cross for ourselves and for others. If we are to fulfill these roles, then our disordered human appetites cannot get in the way. We need to allow the spirit of God to consume us and lead us in all we do.
St. Augustine’s said: “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
ACTION OF THE DAY: Identify what is the Apostolic mission is for you. What gifts did God give you to use in your apostolic life? Are you using them to your potential? Maybe challenge yourself to do something that you would consider “out of reach”.