On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translation
“What’s on your agenda today?” Each morning I start the day with a fresh slate. Then at the end of the day I pause to reflect, and count it good when most of the important items are done.
With no time wasted and no task undone, Jesus clearly had a mission—an agenda—for his life. So what was most important to him? Not the favor of the Pharisees. Not the keeping of the rules. In today’s gospel, the most important agenda item for Jesus was the man who stood before him. And that can be a hard lesson for me. Perhaps the most important item on my agenda this Labor Day will not be a “what” but a “who”— my spouse, my child, my co-worker, my friend, the stranger that I meet. My encounters today may matter more than all the other things I accomplish. So I ask, “Who’s on your agenda today?”
—Howard Craig is the provincial assistant for Advancement on behalf of the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin provinces of the Society of Jesus.
Lord Jesus, as I pause in this moment, help me always to remember that there are no ordinary people. That every person I meet today is made in God’s image. Thus, keep me mindful that each chance encounter may have far more worth than anything else I may possess or accomplish this day. Give me the strength today to follow your example and try to seek God in every human life. Amen.