30week in ordinary time
Gospel: Lk 13: 10-17
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, “There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the Sabbath day from this bondage?” When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
A RELIGION OF SERVICE TO MANKIND: In the gospel, Jesus reveals that service to mankind is better than observance of religious laws. He heals a woman who was crippled by the evil spirit for eighteen years. The Pharisees oppose this action claiming it was done on a Sabbath. In reaction to this, Jesus rebukes them as hypocrites. He reminds them that they water their animals on a Sabbath; are animals greater than humankind? As Christians, we are called have our priorities right. We should not follow religious laws blindly, at the expense of human life. For this same reason, Jesus condemns the Levite and priest for leaving a man who was attacked by robbers ( Lk 10: 30-33). May our religion, value brotherhood and fraternity, while standing for the less privileged in our society. Let us follow a religion of service to mankind.
PRAYER: Lord help us not be blinded by religion but serve your people.
JESUS: THE GREAT PHYSICIAN: All laws should aim at defending and protecting life. Jesus reminds the Sabbath observers that it is valid and right to do something good on the Sabbath. It is right for Christ to untie her 18 year-bond of suffering so that she can worship God freely like the rest. After all, Sabbath was made for man and not man for Sabbath. Human life is important and should be given first priority before any law. For 18 years, this poor crippled widow has been serving God in pain. Jesus decides to heal her. Many people rejoice for this great event. However, the strict observers of the law see it wrong and misjudge Jesus, out of ignorance. Today’s reading calls us to value human life and to go beyond the literary understanding of the law. We are crippled with many things like illness, unemployment, loneliness, broken marriages, lack of school fees, and imprisonment among others. Jesus always does the will of God. The sort of religion God wants of us is not petty laws of what we can do only on weekdays but a constant concern for others, especially the needy.