Monday of the 23rd week in ordinary time year A

Col. 1:24-2:3           Luke 6:6-11

Theme: The law liberates us

In the gospel reading of today, Jesus points out a very important fact that we should be always conscious of, as people that are guided by laws. There is no law that is made ordinarily to enslave the people it is supposed to guide. Rather laws are made for the good of the people, to guide and help the people maintain order in society and peace. The action of the Pharisees in today’s gospel, paints a picture that present the law as a tool used to enslave the people. That is why they were watching to see whether Jesus will heal the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath day.

However, Jesus knew what they had in mind, and used the opportunity to teach the people about the letters of the law and the spirit of the law. The Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath. That is why Jesus went ahead and restored the man with the withered hand, even though the people were not comfortable with his action. One thing Jesus pointed out clearly is the fact that it is better to good on the Sabbath than to do evil. So, restoring the man with the withered hand is the best thing for him to do. Simply put, the law does not enslave us, it rather liberates us, just like Jesus showed us in the gospel reading of today.

Ordinarily, the action of Jesus should bring joy to all those who witnessed the healing of the man with the withered hand, but rather the opposite was the case for the Pharisees. They rather preferred that the sick man continues in his sickness, may be because it does not affect them directly. The question is, if they were in the same position of the man with the withered hand, would they also insist that Jesus should allow them to remain in their sickness because it was on a Sabbath day? This is a practice that we also see from time to time around us. When the situation does not affect us directly, we make statements that are not Christian, for one reason or the other. Jesus is reminding us of the fact that we are all children of Abraham, and we should do to others what we want done to us. What is good is good and what is bad is bad, whether it affects us or not is not the issue. This consciousness will do us a lot of good,

May the Lord bless his words in our hearts in the name of the father and of the son and of the holy spirit. Amen. Peace be with you.

Monday of the 23rd week in ordinary time year A, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp