Reflection on Today’s Daily Readings by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary 479. Ephesians 4:32-5:8. Psalm 1. Luke 13:10-17:
Paul continues to encourage and exhort us to grow into the life of Jesus
Christ, our Lord and Savior. He carries this through on a positive thrust
the progresses through virtues that help us to be conformed to Christ Jesus
as his disciples. Paul does not use the word disciple rather he addresses
us as members of the Body of Christ with Jesus as the Head of the Body.
This is also a symbol for the universal Church of Jesus founded upon the
apostles. More than a dozen of virtues are given in the epistle that is
meant for all the Churches and for each one of us. We are to grow into
maturity in the likeness of Christ. Jesus is the visible face of God for
us as we become more and more open to this call to holiness by our union
with Jesus. It is an experience not an exercise or system of virtues.
Psalm one, a wisdom psalm, is the starting point for our meditation. It
gives us the broad clear outlines of what it means to be living a holy life
graced with the first mention of a beatitude or blessing in the book of
Psalms. We are to choose the right paths toward God and walk in God's
presence. Blessedness and fruitfulness are the effects within our lives.
The Psalm gives us a special suggestion: We are to mull over, to ponder
over, and to assimilate the word of God as given in the inspired
Scriptures. This word is similar to what we see as one of the traits of
Mary, the mother of Jesus, who pondered over continually the events and
words of God that were her experience of the presence of God and Jesus
within her. Helpful for our meditation is John 1:14 and Luke 2:19, and 51.
In the Gospel passage Jesus heals a woman who has been bent over for
eighteen years. This happens on a Sabbath in a synagogue. This is her
special blessed day for being healed and she then becomes a follower of the
Lord and a blessed person with fruitfulness. The Psalm above is now a part
of her experience. She is now a woman of wisdom. The compassion and love
of Jesus goes beyond what synagogue and church rules demand of people. The
good is to be done especially on a Sabbath, a Sunday, a Friday (holy days
for the three monotheistic religions). Good as we have seen from Thomas
Aquinas is always diffusive of itself even in church and on a Sunday. Thus
Jesus shows the true meaning of God's rules--the doing of good and healing
others if we are so gifted with power through the Spirit. Jesus
illustrates all of this on the Sabbath and in the synagogue. It is also
interesting to note that the word "LIFE" in Hebrew is CHAI and its
numerical value is eighteen---Jesus blessed that woman who was suffering
for over eighteen years and gave her LIFE. Amen.
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