A reading from the gospel according to Luke 13:10-17
10 Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
11 And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
12 When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, “Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
13 He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
14 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.”
15 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?
16 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?”
17 When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
Good News: Jesus sees and knows our burdens and illnesses.
The woman in the gospel reading above was crippled and bent over for eighteen years. What a burden that was! For a long time she suffered but at an appointed time, Jesus saw her and without her asking, He set her free from this burden. The leader of the synagogue protested on the ground that the timing was not proper because it happened on the day of rest which was presumably forbidden by the laws of Moses.
Jesus called the leader hypocrite. For Him, healing a person is much more important than business activities or household chores which the people usually do on a Sabbath. With His words and actions, the crowd clapped their hands.
We all have burdens to bear. In life, there are many circumstances like diseases, loss of job, ruined relationship, that cripple us. Like the woman, let us continue going to church though we are heavily burdened. The people including church leaders may ignore us for a long time and even ridicule us due to our unfortunate situation in life. Let us be comforted with the “splendid deed” that Jesus did to her.
Indeed God knows everything that we are going through. He is good all the time and His mercy endures forever, the psalmist says. At the proper time, He will give us our freedom. In the meantime, let us offer to Him all our sorrows and pains. Let us be strengthened with the knowledge that His only Son underwent through the greatest pain. Let His resurrection give us new hope and enough courage to carry on.
We are the body of Christ. Let us look out for each member most especially the crippled and bent over. Moreover, let us be bearers of the Good News that Jesus is Lord of every day and that He gives freedom to all of us.