OCTOBR 25 Ord Time B. Wk 30 Mon. Lk 13. 10-17
One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God
But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.
One of the characteristics of the life of Jesus is the way he involves himself in coming to the aid of those rejected by the majority of the population and who have to endure suffering. Yesterday it was a blind beggar sitting on the side of the road. Today it is a woman who has been possessed by a spirit for eighteen years; - and then we have Christ’s statement “I did not come to call the blessed; - but sinners!”
Yesterday, he responded to a blind man who called out on hearing he was passing by; - while today he seeks out a woman he knew had been suffering for many years; - and of course in today’s reading he is walking towards Jerusalem where he knows he will have to endure his own sufferings; - for the sake of sinners!
When we hear all these revelations about aiding the blind, the sick and sinners, we tend to take the view these people are unfortunate; - and how lucky we are not to be among them, but this approach is wrong. The truth is we are all sinners and, as a result, we all need divine help. It is a dangerous view to think we have been blessed, and are not in need of God’s Grace. Such a belief is founded on pride; - while Christ is seeking humility from his followers; - and acknowledgement we are sinners!
We see this pride on display in the second part of today’s reading, when a synagogue official was indignant Jesus had decided to heal this woman on the sabbath. I am sure his indignation was genuine; - but what a public display of pride? Christ had just cured the woman, demonstrating his divine power, and this man was annoyed the human laws he was responsible for monitoring were not followed?
Sadly, many of us, who continue to be impacted by a lack of humility, are also blind to our condition, and we tend to judge others when their actions are not in conformity with our own views of what is “right”; - and we see this displayed in the way this man addressed Jesus; - “There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath”.
Jesus responded by revealing the man’s blindness for all to see; - ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’
Gospel Acclamation cf.Jn17:17
Your word, O Lord, is truth:
make us holy in the truth.
First reading Romans 8:12-17 ·
The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God
My brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.
Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.