On another Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and began teaching. There was a man with a paralyzed right hand and the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees watched him: Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If He did, they could accuse him. But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to the man, «Get up and stand in the middle». Then he spoke to them, «I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do good or to do harm, to save life or destroy it?». And Jesus looked around at them all. Then He said to the man, «Stretch out your hand». He stretched it out and his hand was restored, becoming as whole as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss with one another how they could deal with Jesus.
It is very sad to end a day of divine glory in a furious and sad manner, as it has happened to these teachers of the Law and the Pharisees. It all happens by the way they look at the events and the reasons that they attach to these events, which are very often conditioned by human way of looking, observing and judging.
Once we learn to look everything divinely, try to identify how God works in these events, and search in every moment of life, what He demands from me, and the fruit of this way of looking and discerning process, will certainly end in an agreeable way before God and will accord us an inner peace that we search daily. Since this process of discernment, the way of looking at people and events is very much personal, spiritual and flow from our inner-self, it is very important that we actively engage to purify our interiority, our inner consciousness, the soul that motivates everything.
Thus, for Jesus, it is not a question of doing good or evil, but a question of the divine will, the glory of his Father and a question of 'now or later'. Jesus, not wanting to be conditioned by the human way of looking at events, a gaze full of wickedness, makes us learn to discern, all before the divine will. If God agrees with me, if my action pleases God, everything is good and desirable.
It is important for us to cooperate with Jesus, and to know how to stand up when we hear his call, “Get up…….and stretch out your hand.” His call, when answered positively, not only makes us grow, but also through us, it makes the whole world grow, especially the people around us. That is why our YES, like Mary's, is so important to God.
Like those scribes and Pharisees who observed the Lord, by his actions and words, a purely human, external and so limited observance, Jesus sees them in their inner selves, their evil thoughts which are contaminated by their own perversities. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by these hypocritical people and fortunately by God's grace and guidance we are called to identify them who wear an outwardly pure garment with words that are sweet and pleasant to hear.
Like Jesus, we must invite them to be converted, not judge them. We must learn from Jesus in the face of such failure, to ignore them and continue to do the divine will, the precious mission that God has entrusted to us at our baptism; the glory of God and the salvation of the world, as Father Claret tells us. A heart filled with love will depart in peace. A heart filled with wickedness, on the other hand, will depart in fury and desolation.
Action of the day: Learn to look everything with an eye of God.
«Get up and stand in the middle (...). Stretch out your hand»
Fr. Julio César RAMOS González SDB
Today, Jesus provides us with an example of the freedom, which we speak so much about. But, contrary to what most claim or consider as “freedom”, Jesus' freedom, is totally associated and adhered to the Father's actions. He will say: «I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does» (Jn 5:19). And the Father only does and acts out of love.
Love cannot be imposed but forces us to act, pulls us together and largely reverts to life. Jesus' command: «Get up and stand in the middle» (Lk 6:8) has the vivifying strength of he who loves and responds to the Word. And, the last part of his order: «Stretch out your hand» (Lk 6:10), that concludes the miracle, definitely restores life and strength to what was powerless and dead. “To save” is to draw from death, and this same word translates as “healing”. By healing, Jesus is saving whatever that poor ailing man had dead, and this is a clear sign of God's fatherly love for his creatures. Thus, in the new creation, where the Son does only what He sees his Father doing, the new law that will prevail will be the law of the acting love rather than that of a “dormant” relaxation, including doing good to the brother in need.
Therefore, a conjugated freedom and love is the key for today. Freedom and love conjugated Jesus' way. Today, what St. Augustine used to say: «love and do as you please», is perfectly valid to learn to totally identify ourselves with Christ our Saviour.