Wednesday, January 18, 2012

As the arteries grow hard, the heart grows soft

Hardness of heart basically refers to the one barrier that separates us from God

Gospel text (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.

Today, Jesus tells us we must always do good: there is no such thing as a time to do good and a time to overlook our love for others. «Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another» (Jn 13:34). Jesus neither repeals nor criticizes Moses' Law, inasmuch as He is the first one to comply with its precepts and go to the synagogue on the Sabbath; what Jesus criticizes is the narrow minded version of the Law by its masters and the Pharisees, an interpretation leaving little room for mercy.

Upon reflecting deeply on today’s reading, the central question we must all ask ourselves is: Is any part of our life shriveled, withered, atrophied? Do we use the power given by our Baptism to evangelize, heal, free, and feed the broken, starving masses? Are we exercising our spiritual muscles, or are they atrophied because of non-use? Jesus wants to heal us ALL and we ALL have parts of our life that need healing. He wants every part of His body and of our bodies and spirits to work.

By faith, when Christ tells you daily to "stretch out your hand" (Mk 3:5). Will you?

If your whole life, including the shriveled parts of your life are in Jesus' hands. Then it will be said of us as it was said of the man in today’s gospel: "The man did so and his hand was perfectly restored" (Mk 3:5).

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