Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Reflection by Ann Rock
Today's Gospel: Luke 6:6-11
Today’s reading beautifully illustrates Jesus’s compassion. We find Him in the synagogue teaching on the sabbath. While there, Jesus notices a man with a withered hand. This man would have had an even more difficult life than someone similarly handicapped in modern times. He would probably had to rely on begging for his sustenance. He would have been considered “unclean” due to his deformity. And he might have even been considered cursed by God.
It appears the scribes and Pharisees may have actually coaxed the man to the synagogue to see if Jesus would, indeed, cure him on the sabbath. These synagogue officials were strictly dedicated to honoring the letter of the Law of the Torah. They were likely very unhappy with Jesus coming into their milieu and upsetting their world based on their previous experiences with Him. They would have had a very strict interpretation of how to honor the sabbath rest. Healing would have been prohibited. If they could catch Jesus breaking the Law, they could possibly initiate charges against Him and get Him out of their hair. Yet, even facing fearsome consequences, Jesus acts with love and heals the man. Any mother who’s nursed a sick child instead of attending Sunday Mass can relate.
I think this is an excellent example of using discernment in the spiritual life. This is a case of discerning the Spirit of the Law and not blindly following the letter of the Law. I do find, sometimes, it’s nice to have clear rules to follow. It takes away the pressure of deciding what to do . However, life is not always so cut and dried. That’s why we are called to develop our faith so we can know the will of God when faced with what looks like a contradiction. Jesus was one with the Father and innately knew His will. We, however, will need to pray, study and receive the grace of the sacraments to best understand God’s will.
I also find God’s will is is also apparent in the teachings of Jesus. We need only to look to the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-12) to know what our Lord wants. These teachings are repeated many times throughout both the Old and New Testament and are sometimes known as the law of love. They can best be summarized by the “great commandments” to love the Lord, your God with all your heart and to love your neighbor as yourself (paraphrase of Matthew 22:37-39). Jesus models acting with love, compassion, and sacrifice. Perhaps we can opt to “rest” from our possessions, obsessions, and addictions to honor the sabbath while serving those Jesus calls us to serve. It seems a fruitful question to consider on how to actually observe the sabbath in the busy world we live in. Jesus sets the perfect example and, while it may not be easy, the choice is simple.
How can I best discern God’s will for me?
Dear Lord, please grant me the grace to act out of great love as Your Son Jesus did, and to discern Your will for me.
Copyright 2021 Ann Rock
Ann Rock is the mother of one adult son and a wife of 35 years. She enjoys facilitating Bible study and working on a mother’s retreat team.
About the Author
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