Gospel text (Mc 3,1-6):
Again Jesus entered the synagogue. A man who had a paralyzed hand was there and some people watched Jesus: Would he heal the man on the sabbath? If he did they could accuse him. Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, «Stand here in the center». Then he asked them, «What does the Law allow us to do on the sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?». But they were silent. Then Jesus looked around at them with anger and deep sadness because they had closed their minds. And he said to the man, «Stretch out your hand». He stretched it out and his hand was healed. But as soon as the Pharisees left, they met with Herod's supporters, looking for a way to destroy Jesus.
To live this gospel today, I would propose to you all three approach and choose among them what is best for the day.
The first is the simplicity of Jesus. They were well aware that Jesus will heal the sick and Jesus didn’t disappoint them. Let our life be simple like Jesus and let us not hide our emotions and feelings. Let us learn to be ourselves without shame and fame, accepting ourselves as we are. This simplicity will give us lot of freedom, not only to us, but also for others to adopt themselves with us.
The second aspect would be the way Jesus acts and his refusal to reacts. He was pushed by the external movements or the behaviours of others. He faces them courageously without judging them. At the same time he is inviting them to enter into their interiority to find out the best way to act in a given situation. Should we do good and evil and the response is clear and net.
The third aspect is related to the second. Why should we stop doing the good deeds because of negative approach of our adversaries? Our good deeds should continue in spite of opposition. We are good and called to be good at every moment of life. Jesus is our model and our reasoning should be with Jesus and Jesus alone, in accomplishing the will of the Father.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The tender compassion of the Lord, by John Chrysostom, 547-407 A.D.
"Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, 'Come here.' Then he challenged the Pharisees as to whether it would be lawful to do good on the sabbath. Note the tender compassion of the Lord when he deliberately brought the man with the withered hand right into their presence (Luke 6:8). He hoped that the mere sight of the misfortune might soften them, that they might become a little less spiteful by seeing the affliction, and perhaps out of sorrow mend their own ways. But they remained callous and unfeeling. They preferred to do harm to the name of Christ than to see this poor man made whole. They betrayed their wickedness not only by their hostility to Christ, but also by their doing so with such contentiousness that they treated with disdain his mercies to others." (excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 40.1)
«What does the Law allow us to do on the sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?»
Fr. Joaquim MESEGUER García
(Sant Quirze del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, Jesus tells us we must always do good: there is no such thing as a time to do good and a time to overlook our love for others. The love we get through God brings us to the supreme Law, Jesus left with us, in the new commandment: «Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another» (Jn 13:34). Jesus neither repeals nor criticizes Moses' Law, inasmuch as He is the first one to comply with its precepts and go to the synagogue on the Sabbath; what Jesus criticizes is the narrow minded version of the Law by its masters and the Pharisees, an interpretation leaving little room for mercy.
Jesus Christ has come to proclaim the Gospel of salvation, but his antagonists, far from being convinced, seek all kind of pretexts against him: «A man who had a paralyzed hand was there and some people watched Jesus: Would He heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did they could accuse him.» (Mk 3:1-2). At the same time as we witness the power of grace, we also see how hardhearted, those boastful men who though they had the truth on their side, were. Were those Pharisees joyful upon realizing that poor man had been cured hand? Certainly not, rather on the contrary, they were even more blinded, to the point of rushing to make a deal with Herod's supporters —their natural foes— looking for a way to destroy Jesus. Some alliance!
With his action, Jesus also removes the chains with which the masters of the Law and the Pharisees had constrained the Sabbath while conferring it its true meaning: the day of communion between God and man, the day of liberation from slavery, the day of salvation from evil forces. Saint Augustin tells us: «He who has peace in the conscience, is peaceful, and this very peace is his heart's Sabbath». With Jesus Christ, the Sabbath already opens up to the gift of Sunday.