Reading: Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” Luke 6:9.
Good, morning, happy Monday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Luke 6:6-11) we learn that on the day of the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue, and he began to teach. There was a man in the synagogue whose right hand was withered and useless. As was their custom, the Pharisees and scribes were closely observing Jesus, hoping that he would heal on the Sabbath.
Jesus realized that the Pharisees were watching him, hoping that he would break one rule or another. Thus, they would have cause to accuse him of breaking the Sabbath. However, Jesus was wily. He told the man with the withered hand to come to him. Jesus then rose and asked the bystanders: “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath, to save a life than rather destroy it?” No one responded to his question. They all remained silent. Jesus looked around at everyone in the crowd. Then quietly he said to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” The man did so and his hand was completely restored!
The Pharisees were incensed at what Jesus had done. He had worked on the Sabbath. He had broken Jewish law. How dare he? The Pharisees were legalists and if the law said that no work was to be done on the Sabbath, in their minds, this meant no work should be done, even if it meant that you possibly lose your crop, your animals or your home. And clearly, the Pharisees considered healing as work. Thus, Jesus had broken the law.
Yet for Jesus, love is the supreme law. Love for the person outweighed any other consideration, even the law of not working on the Sabbath. Luke writes: “Jesus is looking at everyone, then he says to the man: “Stretch out your hand.” And his hand was completely restored.” What is the condition that you would ask Jesus to heal? What is the restoration you long for? I assume that all of us have several conditions that we wish Jesus would heal. Today spend some time with Jesus. Look to him. Open your heart to his love and his healing energy! He will not fail you!
In other words, my dear sisters and brothers, care of others should not be subject to rules and regulations, and Jesus elsewhere made this point that one should have pity even for an animal and release it from danger despite rules that may impede such acts of kindness. “Suppose one of you has only one sheep and it falls into a pit on the sabbath; will you not lay hold of it and lift it out?” (Matthew 12:11).
How are we on our priorities in life – do we sometimes hide behind our duties rather than have compassion? When we ourselves receive an act of kindness we are so grateful that the giver has the priority of doing a good deed. What have we that we have not received?