Monday of the Twenty-Third Week in Ordinary Time (September 11, 2017): First Lessons.

Chúa Nhật, 10-09-2017 | 15:48:33

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 6:6-11)

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Good News Reflection:

Introductory Prayer: Lord, you, have created me out of love. Thank you for sharing your love. Thank you for sharing your happiness and joy. Help me to share this same love with others.

Petition: Cure me Lord, not only of physical ailments, but also from the pride and self-love so deeply rooted in my heart.

1. Teacher by Word and Example.Jesus came with the mission to teach us of God’s love, mercy and justice. Even today the Master looks for openness and docility to his message. Many do respond by opening their hearts; they are ready to listen and be healed. But there are also those who like the Pharisees are hard of heart and who have their prejudices toward the Gospel. Jesus can act in the soul of the one who seeks healing, but his word and work will be sterile in those others who close their hearts to him who stands before them. We need to pray that our loved ones open their hearts to embrace Christ and his message.

2. Lesson # 1: “Save Life Rather Than Destroy It.”The threat to Jesus’ life is very real; the scribes and the Pharisees plot and seek his demise and death. For them the man with the withered hand is good for nothing. Having a useless hand he cannot do much and is viewed as a burden. Yet the scribes and Pharisees seek to use this poor man as a means to help them reach their own selfish ends. Jesus tries to reach them and show them their mistake. He teaches them that no person can be used as a means to an end. Rather, everything –– even the law –– is to be used to help save life. Jesus confronts the threat of evil with goodness and truth.

3. Teach the Value of Life.The scribes and Pharisees conceive it as unlawful to heal on the Sabbath. The fact is, however, that Christ wishes to save life, to do good whenever the opportunity arises. He cannot allow his mission to be frustrated or intimidated and so he heals the man, even though the scribes and the Pharisees disapprove. Do I sometimes let my preconceived notions or habits block God’s work from being done? Sometimes I can be so involved in my own agenda that I fail to think of helping or simply loving those in need. Even worse, sometimes I use others to serve my own ends. Despite the hardness and scorn the scribes and Pharisees had for Jesus, Jesus still healed the man. May we practice this same righteousness in our own lives, always choosing to do what is right over what is comfortable.

Dialogue with Christ: Jesus, you are always interested in others more than yourself. Help me to see the needs of others and be willing to help them even when it means sacrificing myself. You created each person with infinite love and want each to know your happiness. Never let me stop learning from you or sharing your love with others.

Resolution: I will plan a strategy about how I can respond with charity in the next conflict with another that might arise

Fr. Marcial Maciel, LC

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