Today's Gospel: Luke 13:10-17 18 years. That’s a long time. 18 years ago I was 25. When I think about where I’ve been and who I have encountered since age 25 – it feels like 9 lifetimes ago. And then I think about how all those years and people and places and encounters might have been different – if I had been forced to do them looking at things upside down and behind me. If we read the gospel and consider the physical condition this woman was in, we discover if she really were unable to stand erect, she’d have been largely bent over. Try it yourself. She’d have been forced to live either looking through her legs and behind her – or forcing her own head to look up, causing additional head and neck pain - and even then, never really being able to make authentic eye contact or see what’s ahead. She probably spent much of her life laying down on the ground. Jesus takes great societal risk. Talking to a woman, touching a woman, touching anyone with an unclean spirit – this would have rendered Jesus ritually unclean. And he’s already inside the temple. Healing on the Sabbath, inside the temple, ritually unclean from talking to and laying hands on an unclean woman. That’s like 27 BIG Leviticus no-no’s. Jesus doesn’t care. He wants to make the woman whole. He desires the same for us. Jesus calls out to me even before I can call out to Him. Jesus has restored me. And He will continue to restore me until I can stand up straight and look Him in the eye. Jesus does not want me to live life looking behind me, at my failings, or upside down, at the dizziness of my sins. Jesus wants me to look up – and around – and ahead!


What is crippling me right now? How is Jesus going to set me free today?


Lord Jesus, I know that even Your voice with the sound of my name sets me free from all that binds me. Help me to stand up straight enough to look into Your eyes.
Copyright 2018 Colleen O'Dowd Colleen O’Dowd is the Director of Faith Formation & Evangelization at Holy Spirit Parish in Stevens Point, WI. She loves being Catholic, her Converse all-stars are always liturgically correct, and she is a super-saint-geek! She blogs ultra-occasionally at and can also be found @catholiccolleen on Twitter and Instagram. Receive newsletters in your inbox, including the Daily Gospel Reflection each morning! * indicates required
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