October 29, 2018

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.
Reflection:
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.
Like the woman in the gospel, any one of us may be bent over by the weight of some infirmity: relationship troubles, errant children, addiction, or other sickness of body or mind. Left to carry our burdens alone, they can cripple our spirit and hold us captive.
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.
Upon seeing the bent over woman, Jesus laid his hands on her and immediately she was set free from all that held her captive.
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.”
My friend, “Matt,” was held captive in the grip of alcohol; it tried to kill him. While under the influence of this “evil spirit” and it’s bondage, he was involved in a devastating automobile accident that left him crippled, a paraplegic in a wheelchair for life.
Thanks be to God, Jesus’ spirit lives on in the hearts of those in Alcoholics Anonymous who believe that God’s ability to help Matt is not limited by the day of the week.
“Matt” turned his life over to the care of God; although his body is still held captive, his spirit has been set free.
For the past twenty years,” Matt” has become a voice for God, bringing hope and healing, helping free others held captive by addiction.
“Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” Matthew 2:27