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.
Today’s Gospel challenges me. I am invited to do good and to save life, and to do this even when it goes against the authorities – whoever or whatever that might be.
What does it mean to do good to someone who is experiencing homelessness when society, the authority, labels that person lazy, undeserving of a hand up? What does it mean to save the life of the immigrant when our government wants a wall to keep that immigrant out? How do I do good in the face of gender inequality in our society and in our Church? In these and other similar situations, do I speak out or remain passive, hoping things will resolve themselves? Or worse, do I look the other way, hoping that they might just go away?
—Tom Drexler is the Executive Director of the Ignatian Spirituality Project, a ministry providing Ignatian retreats to men and women experiencing homelessness.
As you restored the man’s withered hand, help me, Lord, to restore all that I encounter to be breach barriers in my daily life and the world in which I live.
Please share the Good Word with your friends!