Monday of the 23rd Week of the Year

Luke 6:6-11

Healing on the Sabbath


The Signs that we even glorify what is immoral like:

  1. Live-in but now: ‘Trial marriage.’
  2. Pokpok but now: ‘GRO’
  3. In America, saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is not allowed but only ‘Happy Holidays’ because of the word ‘Christ’ in the word ‘Christmas.’
  4. 3 theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity but now: Faith is the name of a GRO, Hope is the name of a cigarette and Charity is the name of sweepstakes.
  5. Trust but now is the name of a condom
  6. Song by Rolling Stones: ‘Sympathy for the Devil.’


A good friend of mine, actually a good Christian who is very active in his parish, admitted sadly that he not only laughs with the others when jokes ridiculing the church and clergy are told but he even contributes similar remarks and jokes. Similar situations arise when during drinking sessions when buddies joke about women, marriage, mistresses and sexual activities. Not joining the conversation would make one object of further jokes. And who likes that?

How different is Jesus! The scene in today’s gospel reading shows him in an environment of suspicion. He is watched by the religious watchdogs. Would heal and so violate again the Sabbath law? Jesus knew that they had already a lot against him.  He knew that not conforming with them would bring him persecution and death. Even when facing the soldiers arresting him, the shrewd High Priest or powerful Roman ruler Pontius Pilate, he never conformed to their whims and wishes. He stood up for what is right. He stood up for the truth. He did what his heavenly Father had sent him to do. No compromise, no pleasing the others in his company, no postponing of a good deed for later when nobody is around.

Remember this scene in the synagogue the next you feel the temptation of joining the crowd. And deep in your heart ask the Lord to send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of strength and of truth to give you the courage to imitate him and so let the glory of the truth and the light of Christian values shine through the darkness of cowardice. (Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD Bible Diary 2002)


To be a doctor is to be on call 24 hours a day. It is a profession that commits oneself to saving lives. Anyone who is not determined to be on call to save lives round the clock could not be a candidate to this profession.

We have the same expectations for many other professions and vocations like lawyers, government officials, priests, etc. But what Jesus is trying to emphasize in our gospel today is not the relevance of our profession over others but the basic duty of everyone to save life or to focus attention to doing what right and good at any given moment. Even a religious tradition like prohibitions of work on a Sabbath is not a valid reason to refuse to save life or improve it.

When was the last time you were challenged to be a Good Samaritan?

Have you witnessed any heroic act? Who are our present day heroes? Are there heroes in your midst? Pray to the Lord that their tribe may increase? (Fr.  Ed Fugoso, SVD Bible Diary 2004)


One Sunday during our apostolate at the National Children’s Hospital, Quezon City, I was touched by the nurses and doctors who were attending to a dying baby. They did all they could to save the life of the baby.

This experience reminds me of today’s gospel wherein Jesus healed the man with paralyzed hand on a Sabbath. Here, Jesus shows us how to value the life of a person more than the law. The nurses, doctors and all those who were assisting probably missed their Sunday obligations since they were busy reviving the life of the baby since early morning.

In the gospel “the Pharisees were filled with rage and discussed among themselves what they would do to Jesus,” (v. 11). On the other hand, the parents of the baby were pleading to the medical personnel to do all they could to save the child. In the case of the Pharisees it was their unconcern for the sick man and their envy and hatred of Jesus that prevailed; whereas in the case of the parents it was their love for their child and their trust in the medical professionals.

Lord, bless our doctors, nurses and all those in the healing ministry. Continue to give them the strength and the grace to save and protect life. And may all of us, Lord, be life-savers and not life-destroyers. (Sr. Doyet Luarca, SSpS, Bible Diary 2005)


In today’s gospel, the Pharisees set a trap for Jesus. They wanted to catch him violating their interpretation of the third commandment, that is, to honor the Lord’s Day. They were so sure that their interpretation of the law was right and they were certain that Jesus’ actions would prove that he was not the Messiah. As usual Jesus turned the tables on them and revealed their twisted understanding of God’s law.  The “is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” even when their mistake was revealed by the actions and words of Jesus, the Pharisees were not converted but plotted more ways to trapped him.

The Pharisees were not the first people to use religion to enhance their own mistaken ideas and behaviors and they certainly weren’t the last. Historically, the leaders of the Crusaders in the Middle Ages used Christianity to support the murder of Moslems, whom they considered to be heathens. Slavery was supported from the pulpits in the 17th and 18th centuries. At times we strain to interpret the Scriptures or Church teaching to fit the way we see things as individuals.

We must be always be open to the conversion of our hearts from our way of thinking to the wisdom of the Lord that Paul decries in his Letter to the Colossians. We must not let our fear of being mistaken overcome our willingness to hear and see the truth from loving God. Let us not be like the Pharisees who set traps for God. Let the holy and triune God enfold us with wisdom and grace. (Fr. Gene Bacareza, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


It’s all about life. Our Christian faith is basically a religion of life. Our God is a living God.

In the gospel, Jesus chose to heal a man on a Sabbath to drive this point. During the time of Jesus, healing on a Sabbath day is work which was forbidden, unless there was a danger of death. This man with withered hand was in no danger, so Jesus could have waited ‘til the next day and avoided the condemning eyes of the Pharisees.

“Is it lawful to save life rather than to destroy it?” with this question, Jesus drove his point, that while he was seeking to help the life of the man, they were doing all they could do to destroy him. It was Jesus who was seeking to save and they were seeking to destroy.

Jesus’ mission on earth is to give back life to those who have lost it. Every time Jesus heals, he seeks to restore what is broken and to heal what is wounded. “I came, so that they might have life – life to the fullest!” (Jn 10:10) Jesus said.

As followers of Jesus, we can draw from this gospel what Christian life is all about. Our whole life is a ministry to be instruments of life to the world around us. It is a contradiction to assume the right to kill or harm or destroy life in the name of religion.

We are all called to continue the Lord’s ministry of life. The world around us could be violent and anti-life, but we choose to be life-giving and life-promoting. (Fr. Jun DeOcampo, SVD Bible Diary 2007)


For the Jews, Sabbath is as important as all other commandments put together. It is a sign of Divine election. Hence, whoever desecrates it, disrespects God; and whoever keeps it, pleases God. So holy is the day that even simple work such as preparing food, fetching of water, kindling or putting off a fire and grazing of cattle, are prohibited. Anybody caught violating the same is to be put to death. Such was the mentality of the scribes and Pharisees who were practically waiting for Jesus to perform during Sabbath in the hope of finding anything they can accuse Him of.

This uncanny attitude of the Pharisees to find fault and their vile intentions and insecurities are too obvious to miss. But Jesus as the Lord of the Sabbath knows that their rigid attitude and strict legalism are less important than the value of human life. He knows when to apply the rules of Sabbath and when to transcend it.

Sometimes in our offices, workplaces or organizations, we are confronted with people whose preoccupation is to find fault in everything that we say or do or plot evil things against us. In such situations, we draw inspiration from our Lord who chose to good and not sacrifice moral beliefs and principles. It is not far, however, that we sometimes are the accuser, the fault-finder, the self-righteous and one who makes life miserable for others. may we transcend our rigidity and biases, and learn to value the more important things in life, such as people and relationship. (Frt. Jong Biton, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


September 5, 2016 Monday

Today’s gospel illustrates one of the many miracles that can also be found in Matthew 12:9-14 and Mark 3:1-6. Luke account is most specific about reference to the man’s right hand. For the Jews, the right hand was a symbol of power and strength (Matthew 20:21,23). It was used for greetings and to bestow a blessing. It was the “clean hand.” A good Jew always ate with his right hand. It is also a place of distinction and favor (Genesis 48:13-19); a place of honor (1 Kings 2:19). Since this man’s right hand was withered, he was handicapped physically and psychologically.

Jesus felt mercy and compassion for the man with the withered hand. This healing on the Sabbath illustrated that Jesus was the Lord of the whole law. He stretched out his hand to restore the man to health and give him back his dignity.

On the other hand, Jesus was angered by the hard-hearted Scribes and Pharisees who were only concerned about trying to catch him doing something wrong rather than showing mercy to the man in need of help. He showed them that love is more important than simply following rules.

The story of the healing of this man with a withered man also reflects our relationship with God. When we fall into sin, we are cut off and thus spiritually dry. In all of his public miracles and healings, Jesus is directing us not merely to a physical healing, but to reconciliation with God. Thus, we too need to stretch out our hand to receive grace and healing.

The man stretched out his hand, and he was restored. (Fr. Felmar Castrodes Fiel, SVD | DYRF-Cebu Bible Diary 2016)


ACTS OF KINDNESS. We all do acts of kindness everyday but there are different acts of kindness. The first act of kindness is an act of kindness for ten seconds that expect repayment for a lifetime. We do an act of kindness and we expect to be thanked. We do an act of kindness and we expect to be remembered. We do an act of kindness and we feel bad when we are not recognized, when we are not appreciated. That is the lowest form of kindness.

The second type of kindness is when we do an act of kindness and we don’t expect anything in return. That act of kindness is done to somebody who really cannot pay us back. For example, it is done to a stranger or to an anonymous person and it is sent anonymously also. That is a higher form of kindness because it does seek any repayment.

The third form of kindness which the Lord shows in the gospel is not only a kindness that seeks something, not only an act of kindness hat does not seek anything, rather it is an act of kindness where the one who does it gets punished for doing it.. he performs an act of kindness towards a man. He does not expect any gratitude from the man with a withered hand. He knew that he would get punished for doing that. The scribes and Pharisees were so enraged that they discussed how to make life more difficult for Jesus for having done such an act of kindness.

Was there ever a time in your life when you did an act of kindness which nobody appreciated and ill motives were imputed towards you? Was there ever a time in your life when you did an act of kindness anonymously and you got punished for doing that act? If ever such a thing or such an incident happened to you, or happens to you, say a prayer of thanksgiving because then you know how Jesus felt. (Bp. Soc Villegas, Love Like Jesus p. 148)



THESE PAINS (Lk 6:6-11): We are born to pain and w also die in pain. Pain is like twin brother sister in our human lives. In the gospel there were three kinds of people in pain whom we can easily relate with.

The first person in pain is the man with the withered hand who was suffering due to physical ailment. He was suffering because some muscles in his body were not functioning well. He was hurting physically because he was not healthy.

We can identify with the man with the withered hand. We all have our physical aches and pains, our aching bones and muscles, which sometimes, even modern medicines cannot cure. This is the first time of pain.

The second type of pain is the pain endured by the Lord Jesus. he did good things but He was hardly appreciated. He healed somebody and in return, what He received was not a thank you. In return, what He received was a plot to kill Him, to put an end to what he was doing.

We can also identify with Jesus. We do something good, but are suspected of having ulterior motives. We do something good and those who benefited from the good things we do, start to fight against us and sometimes stab us in the back.

One of the pains in life is when we are not understood as we think we should, when we are not appreciated, when all we can do is simply say, “I did my best, I leave the rest to God.”

It is a pain of human life when we are not appreciated by loved ones, by people we trust, by people we serve.

The third kind of pain is the pain of the Pharisees. It is pain that is the fruit of jealousy and the fruit of envy. People who are jealous, envious or insecure, always end up hurting within. Because of jealousy and envy, the scribes and Pharisees had bad thoughts.

There are three kinds of pain and three kinds of people. The first are those who suffer physically. The second are those who suffer because of the ingratitude of people. And the third are those who suffer because of their own foolishness. What is the source of your suffering right now? (Socrates Villegas, Jesus Loves You, pp. 217-218)


September 10, 2012

St. Nicholas of Tolentino
Monday of the 23rd Week

1 Cor 5:1-8
Ps 5
Lk 6:6-11

Lk 6:6-11
Debates about the Sabbath
6On [a] sabbath [Jesus] went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 7The 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. 8But 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. 9Then 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?” 10Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. 11But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath? On the Sabbath Jews have to abstain from work to honor God who rested on the seventh day from his work of creation. For the scribes and Pharisees, healing is considered work. They are always on the lookout if Jesus will do something on the sacred day so they can have a reason to accuse him, to discredit him. Jesus indeed does something, and it is something good. He cures the man with a withered hand. In the process he clarifies the spirit of Sabbath. It is to manifest God’s goodness, not to limit or to hide it, by doing good works for the well-being of people. The Sabbath is meant to benefit people and not to oppress them. Jesus has saved a man from the bondage of deformity. By making him whole again, Jesus fulfills the creative plan of God.

How do you spend Sundays? Do you make sure that your family is healthy and kicking on the Lord’s Day so as to enjoy it profoundly together?


V. 7: People are either watchers or workers. The first simply observe and notice the failures  and weaknesses of others. the second don’t  have time to watch others’ mess but simply work and do their best. See the good in others. be a doer (Ching OP).


Sunday, September 6, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:6-11. NGANONG KINAHANGLAN MAN NATONG BALAANON ANG ADLAW’NG DOMINGO? Ang lihok sa Ginoo maoy atong panig-ingnan. Sama nga nihunong Siya sa pagtrabaho aron mopahulay sa ikapitong adlaw, kita usab mohunong sa mga naandang buluhaton sa adlaw’ng Domingo aron sa paghatag og pahulay sa kaugalingon, sa mga silingan ug sa kinaiyahan. Ang Domingo, dili ang Sabado, maoy makahuloganong adlaw para kanatong mga Kristiyano tungod kay kini magpahinumdum sa pagkabanhaw sa Ginoo nga maoy timailhan sa kadaogan ug kaluwasan nga Iyang gikab-ot para kanatong tanan. Ang maong “pagpahulay” wala magdili kanato sa pagbuhat og maayo nianang adlawa. Gani, matag Domingo kita giawhag nga mosimba ug maghimo og buhat sa kalooy para sa isigkatawo. Posted by Abet Uy


Monday, September 7, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 6:6-11. NGANONG DOMINGGO MAN ANG ADLAW’NG IGPAPAHULAY PARA SA MGA KATOLIKO? Alang sa mga Hudiyo panahon sa Bibliya ug bisan karon, ang Sabado mao ang Adlaw’ng Igpapahulay tungod kay kini man ang ikapitong adlaw sa semana. Sama nga ang Dios Magbubuhat nipahulay sa ikapitong adlaw sa iyang pagpanggama, sila usab mopahulay sa pagtrabaho ning maong adlaw. Apan, ang Bibliya nagmatuod nga human sa Pagkabanhaw ni Kristo, ang mga tinun-an nagsugod na sa pagtapok alang sa pag-ampo ug pagpikas-pikas sa Pan sa unang adlaw sa Semana nga mao ang Domingo (Buhat 20:15; 1 Cor 16:1-2). Ang Domingo nahimong Adlaw’ng Igpapahulay sa mga Kristiyano tungod kay kini magpahinumdum sa Pagkabanhaw ni Hesus, nga mao ang pinakadakong kadaugan nga nahitabo sa kasaysayan – ang kadaugan batok sa kamatayon. Posted by Abet Uy


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Reflection for September 7, Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time: Luke 6:6-11

Reflection: What is Sabbath day? It is a sacred day for the Jews, it’s their day for the Lord. We can compare the Sabbath day to our observance of Sunday our own day of rest and day for the Lord also.

The question that arose from the minds of the scribes and Pharisees was this: Would Jesus cure on a Sabbath day? Which was prohibited by their Jewish religion? When Jesus cured the hand of the man with a withered hand it did not mean that He was disrespecting the Sabbath day.

Jesus simply saw an opportunity to show His infinite compassion and love for the sick man. Thus Jesus healed the man with a withered hand even if it was prohibited by their religion. Jesus is showing us that if we want our faith to be effective we have to humbly show compassion and love too!

Jesus attracts people for the simple reason that He is always ever ready to show His compassion  and love to anyone who seeks it. His love and compassion does not choose what time or day. He would always be there for so long as there’s someone in need.

How about us? Are we always ready to show our compassion and love? – Marino J. Dasmarinas


Sunday, September 4, 2016

Reflection for Monday September 5, Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 6:6-11

Reflection: Do you have the guts to defy someone so that you could do something positive to your fellowmen?

Jesus cured the man with a withered hand notwithstanding the presence of the Pharisees and the scribes who were keenly watching Him. Jesus defied the Pharisees and scribes who were strictly observing the Sabbath law.

Jesus put more importance on the need to help the sick man rather than be afraid. What an unquestionable courage. Let us say that there shall come a time that we will also be in the same situation with Jesus. What shall we do then?

Would we simply forgo helping those who are in need because we are afraid that we might offend someone who is very influential? Or we will be like Jesus who courageously faced the very powerful Pharisees and scribes.

The best path to take is to be courageous like Jesus, to help those who are in need no matter the threat against us. – Marino J. Dasmarinas


EACH DAY COUNTS – “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?” – Luke 6:9

Three days from now, I will celebrate my 40th birthday. It feels that the years just passed by so quickly. Years that I have taken for granted. And come to think of it, 40 years is around 14,600 days.

What if for the next 40 years or 14,600 days of my life, I make each day count?

To do good rather than to do evil? To save a life rather than to destroy it?

Steve Jobs, during his last days, treated each day as an opportunity to create positive change in his life and in the world.

Part of his morning routine was looking at the mirror and asking the question: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer was “no” for too many days in a row, he knew he needed to change something.

So, what if I do the same for each day of my remaining 14,600 days?

What if I really make my days count?

To bless more.

To give more.

To love more. Orange Garcia (

Reflection: How will you spend your day today?

Lord, give me the grace to make my day count.


WATCH FOR THE GOOD – The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely, to see if he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. – Luke 6:7

I held a glass of clean drinking water in front of my students and asked who would like to have some water. Several hands went up and they begged to be called. I then added some sand to the water and asked again, “Who would like a drink?” To my surprise, some hands still showed. Then, I added muddy pebbles and pencil shavings. “Water anyone?” They all squealed in disgust.

The Pharisees in the Gospel today were watching Jesus closely, not because they wanted to learn from Him, understand His words, or follow His example, but because they were waiting for Him to do something they could use against Him.

In our daily living, do we also find ourselves watching others closely to criticize or correct them? Are our hearts as pure as clean drinking water, or are our hearts murky with sandy self-righteousness, pebbles of jealousy, and shavings of pride? Instead of always spotting what is wrong in others, could we focus on what is good? Could we encourage, support, and appreciate?

Jesus is our ultimate example of love and purity. May we learn from Him.Geraldine G. Catral (

Reflection: Can you commit today to watch others closely, looking for the good in them?

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew the right Spirit within me.


WHAT PAIR OF EYES DO YOU HAVE? During the time of Jesus, rabbis typically visit the synagogue on a Sabbath to preach. As there are several rabbis, each one is given a turn. When a rabbi preaches, all eyes and ears are glued on him.

In my experience as a priest who regularly speaks in front of many people, I realize, too, that there are many kinds of eyes that look at me. There are eyes that look for guidance and inspiration. They look upon the priest, minister or preacher as a symbol of God.

And there are eyes that look with starstruck fascination. They follow the person’s every move and gesture. They hang on to his every word.

There are also eyes that look with suspicion, resentment, insecurity and malice. Believing that they can do better than what the preacher can do, they look at him as a rival and threat. These are the eyes that watched Jesus today in the Gospel. The first line says it all: “The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched Him closely to see if He would heal on the Sabbath” (v.7).

They watched Him closely. If looks could kill, this was it. Biblical scholars note that the word used for this look was paratereo. It could be translated as “to spy on” or “to observe with malicious intent out of the corner of one’s eye.” This kind of look is blind to goodness because it is evil by its nature. Sadly, it sees evil only on the other and never on the self. No wonder the Pharisees didn’t see the life-giving miracle Jesus performed. The only thing their look afforded them was a fury that led them to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus at the opportune time.

To be aware of a single shortcoming within oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand in somebody else. Change happens in a family or in a community when I realize that change begins with me, not in always trying to change others. Change happens in a community when the individual realizes that he has to change as well. Otherwise, that community remains to be a finger-pointing community. Fr. Joel Jason

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: What is the quality of your look? What pair of eyes do you have?

Lord, today, help me see my faults and recognize the good that is in others. Amen.



September 7, 2015

Monday of the 23rd Week in the Ordinary Time

Col 1: 24—2: 3, Lk 6: 6-11

Prejudice Prevents One from Accepting Truth

Dr. B.R Ambedkar in one of the volumes of his “Unpublished Writings” and Speeches mentions an interesting incident about a dalit – law caste- youth. One day the young man was going from his village to another village for work. On the way he saw people gathered around a well in a nearby village. He went near the well to know what happened. People around the well told him that a calf fell into the well and there was no one to save it. The young man without hesitating even for minute jumped into the well. The villagers let down a basket with a rope into the well. Thus the young man saved the calf.

When he came out of the well people thanked him and wanted to know about his details. When he told them his name and background people of the village came to know that he was a dalit. They became furious and accused him of polluting the well. The young man had to run away from the village in order escape the fury of the villagers. The people who accused the young man of polluting the well did not have the brain to think that if he did not save the calf, it would have died in the well and water would have been really polluted and it would not have been drinkable. This is an example for how caste prejudice makes people blind to the reality and truth.

In today’s Gospel we have more or less the same situation. Jesus healed a man whose right hand was paralyzed on a Sabbath day. Seeing the incident the Pharisees were filled with rage and discussed among themselves how to finish him off, because the healing on the Sabbath day was a serious violation of Sabbath according to them.  Jesus knew that the Pharisees would accuse him of violating Sabbath if he healed the man. But he did it to send a strong message to them that their interpretation of the law on Sabbath was inhuman and oppressive and his mission included liberating people from such bondages. He knew that the Pharisees were prejudiced against him and could not see the enormous joy that a person gets when he/she is healed of disease.

We read in the Gospels Jesus resorting to such social interventions. Cleansing the temple of the traders and money changers was one such act. There could be oppressive traditions and customs prevalent in the societies even today. Practice of untouchability is still prevalent in some parts of our country. The Khap panchayats among the Jhats prohibit marriage within the Gotra, even though there is no blood relationship and anybody who dares to break this custom and marry a person of his choice from the same Gotra have to face death.

The disciples of Jesus cannot and should not tolerate any law, custom or tradition that is oppressive and discriminatory in nature. Anything that is oppressive and discriminatory goes against the liberative mission of Jesus. Similarly they should be liberated form prejudice if they have to be effective in their mission. Fr. Jacob Peenikaprambil CMI


Do Good, Always and Everywhere

September 7, 2015 (readings)

Monday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time

Father Patrick Butler, LC

Luke 6: 6-11

On a certain Sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. 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. 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. 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?” Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Introductory Prayer: God the Father, thank you for the gift of creation, including my own life. God the Son, thank you for redeeming me at the price of your own Body and Blood. God the Holy Spirit, thank you for being the sweet guest of my soul, enlightening my mind, strengthening my spirit, and kindling the fire of your love in my heart.

Petition: Lord, make me a magnanimous, great-hearted person, one who always desires the good of others.

  1. Teaching and Doing:When Jesus speaks, he convinces those of good will who are present. The people commented that Jesus spoke convincingly, not like the Pharisees. That’s because Jesus preached only what he was willing to put into practice himself. He practices what he preaches. This is my Teacher and Master, who speaks of compassion and shows it. This is he who lowers himself to washing his followers’ feet at the Last Supper because he wants me to do the same.
  2. Doing Good, Regardless of What Others Think:Jesus is omniscient, knowing even what others are thinking. He often chides the Pharisees, because he sees their nitpicking and pettiness. They are guides of the people, yet they stand aloof from their needs and constrain the people to follow many rules that they themselves do not fulfill. Jesus sees a person in need whom he can help. Although he sees around him many critics scrutinizing his words and actions, nothing will keep him from doing this good deed. When I feel the weight of others’ eyes upon me, can I still practice charity regardless of what they think?
  3. Saving Life:There is a culture of death and a culture of life in this Gospel. The judgments of the Pharisees make them critical of Jesus to the point that they become enraged. Eventually, they will plot to kill Jesus. They couldn’t care less about the plight of the man Jesus heals. Jesus speaks the words of life in the synagogue. He enriches life through healing. I must learn from Jesus how to be a beacon of light and life amid the divisive culture of egoism and death that surrounds me.

Conversation with Christ: Lord, you can read my heart, as you read the hearts of the Pharisees. I also have a tendency to be critical and not always constructive. Make my heart be more like yours, desiring good, and being generous despite the criticisms that might come my way.

Resolution: I will strive to perceive the needs of another person today, someone in particular. Then, I will seek to do what I can to help that person, if possible in a way that does not draw attention to myself.


September 5, 2016

REFLECTION: At the time of Jesus, whenever a Pharisee was asked: “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good?” he would answer: “Not if it is work (except in immediate danger of death).” In other words, for him the ritual/legal order prevailed over the moral order. What was Jesus’ answer to the same question? “Yes, unconditionally, even when there is no danger of death, because the one thing that decides whether or not an action should be allowed on the Sabbath is its moral goodness.” In other words, for Jesus the moral order prevails over the ritual/legal order. For him, it cannot be the meaning of the Sabbath precept to prohibit a morally good act such as an act of love, because the omission of a good action is itself evil. And the Sabbath rest was instituted only by reason of God’s loving interest in the welfare of humans. These considerations form the background of today’s gospel reading.

Rules—including God’s commandments, of course—are for the total good of the human person. As the apostle Paul teaches: “All things are yours… and you are Christ’s (1 Cor 3:21-23).


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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