January 18, 2017

Gospel MK 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue.
There was a man there who had a withered hand.
They watched Jesus 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 the Pharisees,
“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,
Jesus 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:
The Pharisees had previously seen Jesus heal on the sabbath and had even accused Him of working on it.
Now, here He was again in the synagogue.
“There was a man there who had a withered hand….”
No friendly crowd here; the scene was tense. What would Jesus do?
“They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath
so that they might accuse him.”
He spoke to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up here before us.”
Then he said to the Pharisees,
“Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Stubborn and hard hearted, the Pharisees remained silent.
Now, we see a different Jesus.
“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.
Yes, He was angry, as any parent would be if one of their children had no pity or sympathy for their brother or sister who was injured.
He was “grieved” too. Saddened by their dogged refusal to accept that it was more important to God that a person be healed rather than abide by their interpretation of the commandments.
Upon seeing Jesus heal the man, “The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.”
Jesus, because he came from God, knew the heart of God. He was not influenced by the opinion of man or fearful of what they might do.
Jesus’ only concern was to accomplish the will of His Father.
“Today, if you hear his voice,  harden not your hearts.”          (Hebrews 3:15)