JAN. 20. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 2. WED. MK. 3. 1-6
Updated: Jul 24
Jesus went into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.
How Christ must weary of many “wise” unbelievers on earth (and many believers!) who do not accept his teachings? “They were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him!”
Rather than pondering the undeniable wisdom and truth of Christ’s teachings, they focus all their efforts on preserving their own beliefs on “what is right”, and they do this despite Christ performing multiple miracles in front of their eyes, as he did in this reading?
Why are God’s creatures so reluctant to listen, and heed, the teachings of their Creator ?
The answer of course is not hard to identify! We do it because of this inbuilt inclination to follow our own desires, rather than the Will of God; - and we do it despite all the evidence, and our own experience, that our Creator is right; - and we are wrong?
God, on the other hand, rather than putting his own interests first, chooses to put the interests of his creatures first; - the exact opposite of our approach to life!
The reason for this is “God is Love” whereas the primary focus of his creatures is “self-love”!
In today’s Gospel Christ highlights this tragic situation by asking the man with a withered hand to “stand up in the middle”, after which he asked those around what, in their opinion was right; - “Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?”
And how their response illustrated this problem! They knew in their hearts what was right, and what the correct answer was to Christ’s question; - in the same way that we always know; - via our conscience what is right; - but they gave first place to their own desires:
“They said nothing!” They said nothing because they knew Christ was right! And are we not guilty of acting exactly the same; - and on a daily basis? Why do we constantly put our own Will first; - rather than the Will of God?
The answer of course is that we are sinners; - a truth we are very reluctant to admit, despite the fact we know it to be true! And this is where the problem really lies; - our reluctance to look God in the eye and admit “I am a sinner”; - and nothing is going to change until we do this!
But when we do? God came to call sinners; - and he provided all we need to become his friends!
“Jesus Christ, the Son of God; - have Mercy on me; - a sinner!”
Gospel Acclamation cf.Mt4:23
Jesus preached the Good News of the kingdom
and healed all who were sick.