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.
My Sunday routine typically begins with Mass and then a visit to my parents’ house—a really great way to start the day. But by noon I find myself heading out to get groceries, catch up on work, go running, finish laundry and more. Sure, I have remembered the Sabbath, but have I kept it holy?
I think Jesus’ message to us today is the same as it was to the Pharisees: The rules only matter so much as they bring us closer to God. Which begs the question What can I do to make today holy? There is no better model for us than Jesus, who uses his gifts to help a person in need—the man with the withered hand. With that in mind, how can I use my own gifts to help others, both today and every day?
—Connor Walters is a communications coordinator at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, OH. He also coaches rowing and co-moderates the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless.
Holy God, help me make this Labor Day holy.
Fill all my days with your life and strength and hope.
I place my life and time and talents at your service.
Bless those I work with, those I live with, and all I meet this day. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team