The first question which the priest and the Levite asked was: “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” But the good Samaritan reversed the question: “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” – Martin Luther King Jr.
(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.
The Sabbath is a day of rest. But, how can we rest when our neighbor cannot?
This man, standing before Jesus in today’s gospel passage needed help that Jesus was able to provide. How could Jesus have rested well if he had ignored this man’s request because it was the Sabbath?
If our neighbor is in need and we can serve him / her, I believe we have a duty to do so, and I believe that is what Jesus is saying here.
To rest well, is to know that we are serving our Lord well. If we ignore those in need, we are not serving him well.