Monday, September 10, 2012

“Why are you trying so hard to fit in when you were born to stand out?”

God wants to reach out to others through your hands. He wants to speak to others through your lips, and God wants others to look into your eyes and see Him... give God permission. - John Cardinal O'Connor

(Gospel Text: 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.

I heard a story the other day about a crabby old man who lived next door to a family of four. The old man was widowed and as he aged he became loud, crass and rude. Yet every single day the family next door would stop by to check in on him and help him with whatever he needed done. The family didn’t particularly enjoy the man because he could be downright mean at times, but every single day, holidays included, they went over to the old man’s house because they knew he was all alone. They weren’t performing miracles, but they were imitating Jesus’ bountiful love every single day. 

We are never exempt from loving and helping our neighbors. Sometimes it’s easy to come up with a plethora of reasons why we can’t help out and sometimes it may be hard to love someone who has done wrong to us.

But Jesus didn’t tell us, “help others unless you’re too busy” or “only help the people who have been kind to you”. We are called to always make a positive difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters. 

In the Gospel today Jesus heals the man with the withered hand even though it was the Sabbath – the day of rest. The Pharisees were enraged! Why would he perform miracles on the day of rest? But Jesus responds, "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 healed without fear of the bad that could happen because he was healing on the Sabbath – his priority was to heal and love the man with the withered hand. Jesus never stops healing us. He doesn’t say, “Oh! It’s Sunday, I need a break from loving my brothers and sisters so I’ll heal you all tomorrow!” His love and healing powers are unending. 

We too must not be selective about when we give our help and love - Jesus shows us that we don’t have any excuses. Even though he knew healing on the Sabbath would enrage the Pharisees he did so anyways because saving the man’s life was more important. Today we are called to give help and love without thinking about the consequences and the excuses we create. Let’s live like Jesus – let’s love and heal our brothers and sisters every single day.

Wouldn’t the world be beautiful if we could all imitate Jesus for a day?

Let us try today to love the unlovable, to help those in need and to remember Jesus’s unending love for each and every one of us every single day – the Sabbath included.

No comments:

Post a Comment