Reflection on the Daily Readings for 10/26/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM

Today’s Readings

Scripture: Lectionary # 479. Mon of 30th week.  Romans 8:12-17. Psalm
68:2.4.6-7.20-21. Luke 13:10-17:

"Our God is the God of salvation!" This is our Psalm response for today and
by keeping it alive in our minds and hearts throughout this day, we will be
able to remember the first reading from Romans and the selection from our
Gospel. Both deal with salvation. The word in Latin is "salus" and can mean
both salvation and healing.  The word in Hebrew is associated with the
Messiah and, of course, for us Christians it is the radical that forms the
name Jesus in Hebrew.  Salvation is emphasized in Romans; healing in the
Gospel. We may however understand salvation in both passages.  And our
Psalm response thus becomes a help for remembering to keep the word of God
alive in our hearts throughout this day. In this word is healing and

The Gospel tells us of a woman who is suffering from osteoperosis for
eighteen years. She comes into the synagogue where Jesus heals her. The
synagogue attendant is upset for he judges Jesus to have broken the Sabbath
rule of no servile work on the Sabbath. Hmm. Wonder what he would think
about our many tasks done on a Sunday without our giving it any thought
about breaking the rule of no servile work on a Sunday.  Jesus both saves
and heals the woman within a split second and then gives examples of how in
the tradition this should not be considered breaking the Sabbath. The crowd
marvels at his power to heal; while the attendant and the strict observers
of the law are not pleased nor convinced.  Jesus however wins the day.

Paul continues his most eloquent chapter in Romans where the Holy Spirit is
center stage for all that is being said within this reading.  It is a part
of Scripture that can help us whenever we feel all is lost. Through this
inspired chapter we can feel healed if we are open to what it is saying and
if we ponder it over as Mary would in our hearts more than in our minds.
The Spirit is at work and the work is sanctification and wholesome healingj
of hearts and souls.  The Spirit has raised Jesus from the dead and the
Spirit can liberate us from the effects of sin and the onslaught of all
sorts of temptations.  By "flesh" Paul means all those proclivities in our
hearts and minds that are contrary to the workings of the Holy Spirit
within us.  We are the children of God who are able to call God "Abba" just
as Jesus did in his prayers in Gethsemane and elsewhere when he was alone
in prayer.  Our salvation day by day consists in living life in the Spirit
and overcoming the temptations of the flesh and the mind like envy, lust,
pride, and selfishness.  Paul insists, "If you live according to the flesh,
you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the
the body, you will live."

Today through the Scriptures we are led to bring our need for healing and
for our need for trust in the sanctifying power of the Spirit in us.  God
and Jesus wish everyone to be saved. God so loved the world that God gave
us Jesus and all of the holy ones of the Scriptures like Abraham, Rachel,
Moses, and Judith.   The Psalm also continues the refrain by telling us,
"God is a saving God for us; the Lord, my Lord, controls the passageways to
death." Amen.