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January 20, 2021

Mk 3: 1-6

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.

Acting out of love despite the risk

Prior to this passage, Jesus has just walked through wheat fields, eating a few kernels with his disciples.  When criticized, he pointed out, “The Sabbath is made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath.”   He foreshadowed an evolving perspective by speaking of new wineskins, etc.  Now, on the Sabbath, in the synagogue, he simply asks a man with a withered hand to reach out- and he is cured. But what about the Law? 

“Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?” Jesus cures a man, very aware of the political and personal risk.   Suddenly black and white are blurred.  What IS the law?

When have you, or could you have, acted out of love in spite of possible consequences?  Standing up for a person being bullied?  Refusing to participate in malicious gossip?  Speaking up for local or national policies that enable others’ dignity?     

If you put yourself in this scene like St. Ignatius might suggest, how do you feel about this - as Jesus’ disciple, as Jesus himself, or one of the very confused and agitated Pharisees crying, “But, but, but….” 

—Donna K. Becher, M.S., is an associate spiritual director at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality in Charleston, West Virginia.  Her training is rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

 

Prayer

Lord, guide me, teach me, strengthen me,
‘till I become such a person as thou would have me be;
pure and gentle,
truthful and high-minded,
brave and able,
courteous and generous,
dutiful and useful. Amen.

—Prayer for Guidance, Charles Kingsley


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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January 20, 2021

Mk 3: 1-6

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.

Acting out of love despite the risk

Prior to this passage, Jesus has just walked through wheat fields, eating a few kernels with his disciples.  When criticized, he pointed out, “The Sabbath is made for humankind, not humankind for the Sabbath.”   He foreshadowed an evolving perspective by speaking of new wineskins, etc.  Now, on the Sabbath, in the synagogue, he simply asks a man with a withered hand to reach out- and he is cured. But what about the Law? 

“Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath?” Jesus cures a man, very aware of the political and personal risk.   Suddenly black and white are blurred.  What IS the law?

When have you, or could you have, acted out of love in spite of possible consequences?  Standing up for a person being bullied?  Refusing to participate in malicious gossip?  Speaking up for local or national policies that enable others’ dignity?     

If you put yourself in this scene like St. Ignatius might suggest, how do you feel about this - as Jesus’ disciple, as Jesus himself, or one of the very confused and agitated Pharisees crying, “But, but, but….” 

—Donna K. Becher, M.S., is an associate spiritual director at the West Virginia Institute for Spirituality in Charleston, West Virginia.  Her training is rooted in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

 

Prayer

Lord, guide me, teach me, strengthen me,
‘till I become such a person as thou would have me be;
pure and gentle,
truthful and high-minded,
brave and able,
courteous and generous,
dutiful and useful. Amen.

—Prayer for Guidance, Charles Kingsley


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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