Sunday, September 05, 2010

Gospel for Monday, 23rd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 6:6-11

The Cure of a Man with a Withered Hand

[6] On another Sabbath, when He (Jesus) entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered. [7] And the scribes and the Pharisees watched Him, to see whether He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against Him. [8] But He knew their thoughts, and He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come and stand here." And he rose and stood there. [9] And Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?" [10] And He looked around on them all, and said to him, "Stretch out your hand." And he did so, and his hand was restored. [11] But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.

10. The Fathers teach us how to discover a deep spiritual meaning in apparently casual things Jesus says. St. Ambrose, for example, commenting on the phrase "Stretch out your hand," says: "This form of medicine is common and general. Offer it often, in benefit of your neighbor; defend from injury anyone who seems to be suffering as a result of calumny; stretch your hand out also to the poor man who asks for your help; stretch it out also to the Lord asking Him to forgive your sins; that is how you should stretch your hand out, and that is the way to be cured" ("Expositio Evangelii sec. Lucam, in loc".).

11. The Pharisees do not want to reply to Jesus' question and do not know how to react to the miracle which He goes on to work. It should have converted them, but their hearts were in darkness and they were full of jealousy and anger. Later on, these people, who kept quiet in our Lord's presence, began to discuss Him among themselves, not with a view to approaching Him again but with the purpose of doing away with Him. In this connection St. Cyril comments: "O Pharisee, you see Him working wonders and healing the sick by using a higher power, yet out of envy you plot His death" ("Commentarium in Lucam, in loc.").
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

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