Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?”
But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
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.
Looking around at them in anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored.
I draw comfort from this story about Jesus. I can relate to Jesus getting angry at people and grieving when people choose not to do what is right.
My challenge is to follow Jesus’ example. When I get angry my blood pressure rises; I often have negative thoughts about the person I am angry at; I can be very impatient, and sometimes I hurt people with unkind words. Jesus shows me another way of responding: he does so with love and compassion, says the right thing no matter the cost, and directs his energy into healing people and restoring them to community.
I pray I can follow Jesus’ lead and respond to feelings of anger with love and compassion.
—John Moriconi, S.J. is a Jesuit brother who serves as provincial secretary for the Chicago-Detroit Jesuit province.
Lord, we come to you seeking the healing of our body and soul. Our spirits need renewal; our relationships need strengthening, and our health needs your attention. Lord, we have a sacred lesson to learn from the man with the withered hand. It was his willingness to reach out that opened the possibility of his cure. Lord, please give us the grace to reach out to you, to allow ourselves to be vulnerable and to receive your healing.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team