“In all the miracles of healing performed by Our Divine Savior, we must admire the remarkable goodness which caused Him to heal first the sickness of the soul, then that of the body. He teaches us the great lesson that we must first purify our consciences before turning to God for help in our earthly needs.” – St John Bosco
(Gospel Text: 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.
Our world is full of people like this bent woman. Some are struggling silently with a long-term illness or disability that has isolated them. Some are bowed down by grief or hopelessness. For others, it’s fear, a past hurt, or an unrepented sin that keeps them down. Perhaps you know someone like this, someone who needs to hear Jesus call to them as he called to that hunched, overlooked woman in the synagogue. Listen prayerfully for a moment, and if anyone comes to mind, ask the Holy Spirit if there is something you can do. Is there a practical service, a gentle prayer, or a word of encouragement you can offer?
Can you be a messenger of hope and healing to that person?
While you’re at it, know that Jesus wants to raise you up, too! Because even the holiest and healthiest among us are works in progress. We all have issues in our lives that still need healing and liberation. If you can identify any areas that need a little more work, bring them to Jesus in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If not, just come into his presence, knowing that he is fully able to search out and straighten whatever needs to be unbent.