September 10, 2018

Gospel LK 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:
“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.”
The law stated that a person should not work on the Sabbath day and healing was considered to be work.
Rules and laws are important; without them life could be chaotic.
However, rules should never become more important than the person.
“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?”
Jesus was not against the law. He said, “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.” (Matthew 5:18)
Jesus also said, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:39) and “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)
Observing religious obligations are an important part of our Christian faith. But, when I am faced with the choice of attending Mass or caring for a sick neighbor, Jesus makes it clear: doing the loving thing for our neighbor supersedes religious obligations.
“Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.”
“Never be so busy taking care of the important that you neglect the critical.” Unknown