2nd Week of Ordinary Time (23rd January, 2019)
First Reading: Heb 7:1-3, 15-17
Gospel: Mk 3:1-6
Jesus was in a synagogue on a Sabbath day. And there was a man with the withered hand.
Others were keenly observing whether Jesus would heal the man on a Sabbath, which as per them is a sin against God.
Jesus asked the man to come to the middle and asked the people who were so keen. Is it against the law on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’
None responded, Jesus looked at them angrily and asked the man to stretch his withered hand and he was healed.
Seeing this they planned to join with the Herodians to destroy Jesus.
It is quite a surprise to know that some people give more importance to following rituals that was made for man than to heal the same mankind.
Even in present times we see people who are there to find fault with, when we falter on traditional practices. When we linger on to rituals, we tend to forget our values and human love.
Once my wife was travelling in a bus. From one of the stops an old lady with torn and dirty clothes boarded the bus. The bus started and when the conductor asked money, the old lady did not have enough. In the next stop she was forced to exit the bus. My wife wanted to help, she had the money as well, but thinking that helping her would antagonise the conductor, whom she regularly travels with, she failed to respond at that moment.
That guilt, after so many years, still haunts her. She was bothered about what others would think. Even though she helps a lot of people, this mistake still remains as a scar in her heart.
As we analyse, it is very much possible that there would have been people who wanted the healing to happen to the withered hand, but kept quite because we might be looked at with hatred by the people who criticise any good act.
Lord, help us that we do not hold on to traditions for the sake of good deeds and guide us with the wisdom to act at the appropriate time. Amen.