We witness our Lord Jesus performing yet an¬other miracle on the Sabbath though watchful eyes were upon him, waiting to pick on even the slightest wrong move He would make. However, our Lord addresses this sheer hostility with a clever question, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” and simply goes on healing the man with the withered hand. This is a bold move on our Lord Jesus’ part, and I cannot help but contemplate on what my reaction would be in a similar situation. Would I give into the common, accepted ways and laws of the world and turn a blind eye or dare to do the will of my Father? What would the stares and possible judgments of the people in authority mean to me?
Most of the time we are used to living our lives trying hard to meet expectations, reach goals, and create a stable place on earth. We make efforts not to step on each other’s toes and mind our own business. In trying to do so we live in denial of the truth most of the time, failing to fulfill our real purpose in life. This has made us selfish and self-centered. As for our Lord Jesus, this was totally different. He knew His purpose on earth and was faithful in fulfilling it unto death, thus proving Himself to be the eternal High priest in the order of Melchizedek, standing in the gap between us and the Father.
He is inviting us to “stretch out your hand”, withered or perfect so that His healing may flow into us, enabling us to stretch it often. St. Ambrose comments on this miracle,‘You, who think that you have a healthy hand, beware, lest it is withered by greed or by sacrilege. Hold it out often. Hold it out to the poor person who begs you. Hold it out to help your neighbour, to give protection to a widow, to snatch from harm one whom you see subjected to unjust insult. Hold it out to God for your sins. The hand is stretched forth, then it is healed.’ Let us take heart and come out from behind the curtains of the law that blind us, to attend to the genuine need of our broth¬ers and sisters and live a life pleasing in the eyes of our Father.
Prayer: Abba Father, give us the grace to be sensitive to the needy and reach out to them in love. Amen