A reading from the gospel according to Luke 6:6-11
6 On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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?”
10 Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
11 But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Reflection: Do good
Good News: Jesus restores the withered.
Once again, we see a confrontation of Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees. While the religious leaders opt to follow protocols and traditions strictly, Jesus prefers to do something compassionate. While the authorities seek to destroy, Jesus would rather save life. While these men of the cloth were keen to discover a reason to accuse, Jesus was concerned that someone needed restoration.
The scribes and Pharisees were silent when Jesus asked them which one is lawful, to do good or to do evil. It was a sort of rhetorical question and we can assume that they know the answer except that they were too proud to admit their mistake and their hearts were really hardened. The word compassion is not in their vocabulary. So when Jesus did something good on a Sabbath, they became enraged.
Let us turn our gaze to the man with the withered hand. Most probably, he was at the synagogue full of hope for healing. How glad he was when Jesus cast His merciful eyes on him! His heart must be beating faster when Jesus called him forward. Without hesitation, he obeyed and though all eyes were on him and Jesus, he was unafraid. Like this man, may we also answer the call of Jesus without any kind of hesitation or fear. Let us allow Him to restore our “witheredness”.
In spite of the strong opposition, Jesus did not budge a bit in doing good. He confronted the scribes and Pharisees with love and authority from the Father. We pray that He may grant us the courage to do the same, to keep on doing something good though people are against us. Like Him, may we have the eyes that are always looking for someone in need and may we have the heart that cares. Moreover, may we learn to appreciate people who do good rather than criticize them.