READINGS for 2008-10-27
“… you are set free of your infirmity.” – Luke 13:12
During the Christmas season of 2006, I received a text message from one of my college buddies asking for prayers. His son needed two brain operations to stop his veins from hemorrhaging. He was also asking for financial help.
That same year, a friend of mine lost his wife to cancer after a long battle. Shortly after that, he lost his father. He was still grieving a year later.
Last year, my wife and I were hurt because of some broken relationships. Even as I write, we suffer the loss of some friendships. Anywhere you go, there are people in need, hurting or dying emotionally, physically and spiritually. And today, we are reminded of Jesus’ sensitivity to see a need and heal it. The stooped woman didn’t even ask Jesus for healing. All she did was show up where He was.
Many times because of our busyness we fail to reach out and be an instrument of healing. Let us pray for the grace to be the Lord’s hand to touch people.Ariel Driz
Am I sensitive to the needs of my neighbor?
Lord Jesus, there are broken people around me. Grant me the grace to recognize them and reach out as You would want me to. Amen.
It is definitely not easy to live a holy and pure life guided by the principles of the Scriptures. Paul challenges us to leave behind any salacious talk and jokes. We live in a world where the advertising industry would be virtually wiped out if it were not able to use sexual innuendo in its marketing ploys! Yet, this is the call placed upon our lives. Either we are going to take seriously the call and moral demands of the Gospel or we are not!
32 Brothers and sisters: Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ. 5: 1 Be imitators of God, as beloved children, 2 and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. 3 Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, 4 no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. 5 Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty arguments, for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the disobedient. 7 So do not be associated with them. 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light.
P S A L M
Psalm 1: 1-2, 3, 4 and 6
R: Behave like God as his very dear children.
1 Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, 2 but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. (R) 3 He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. (R) 4 Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. 6 For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. (R)
G O S P E L
I think the synagogue official must have sounded pretty ridiculous in the way he chastised Jesus for healing a woman who had an infirmity for the last 18 years on the Sabbath. It is plain to anyone with even a modicum of common sense that the Sabbath Law does not apply to such a situation. Let us not become beholden to the letter of the law when that is clearly not the issue at stake. Let us seek to live lives of love and mercy as we live according to the Law.
Luke 13: 10-17
10 Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. 11 And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.” 13 He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. 14 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.” 15 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? 16 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?” 17 When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
think:Let us seek to live lives of love and mercy as we live according to the Law.
God’s special verse/thought for me today________________
T O D A Y ’ S BLESSING LIST
Thank You Lord for: ____________________________________
READ THE BIBLE IN ONE YEAR Isaiah 21-24
UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW
We have a moral obligation to implement the law of God with love, and not just through a simple literalist spirit. We need to ask ourselves, “What is the intention of God in giving us this particular law?” Jesus challenges the synagogue officials to listen carefully to what He is saying and to be reasonable in their application of the law. The officials tended to be very understanding in the application of the law to personal situations but absolutely legalistic – and according to Jesus, totally unreasonable – when applying it to others. It seems that those who were least able to argue for and defend themselves were the ones most likely to be victims of their legalism.
We cannot be complacent in this regard as each of us will find ourselves in similar situations many times during our lives, both on the giving and receiving end. We do well to remember the beatitude that tells us mercy will be shown to the person willing to be merciful to others.
Sometimes there are laws that are absolute, such as the call to respect the dignity of human life at all times. However, even these need to be implemented with love, explaining to the individuals concerned how and why the principle applies to their particular situation. This can be quite difficult and would take a long road of understanding for some but the demands of the Gospel of love requires us to be willing to walk with one another during such difficult times.
Let us take our lead from Jesus and seek to apply all laws with love and compassion. If it is necessary to punish an individual for what he has done, then such a punishment should be applied with the view to the person’s conversion and rehabilitation. If it is for purely punitive reasons, then we have moved outside the boundary of the call to love — what we call revenge. God does not punish us for our sins– He forgives us. The consequences of our sins merely follow what we do outside the laws of God. This should make us reflect upon our actions so that we will be inspired not to sin in the future. Fr. Steve Tynan
How do I view the call to apply the law in love to others? Do I tend to seek punitive revenge to those who sin against me?
Lord Jesus, you have taught us the way of love and it is a way of forgiveness and compassion and understanding. Help me to grow in these three virtues.
St. Abraham the poor, hermit, pray for us.
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