Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gospel for Wednesday, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time

From: Mark 3:1-6

The Curing of the Man with a Withered Hand
[1] Again He (Jesus) entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. [2] And they watched Him, to see whether He would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse Him. [3] And He said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here." [4] And He said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. [5] And He looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. [6] The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against Him, how to destroy Him.

5. The evangelists refer a number of times to the way Jesus looks at people (e.g. at the young man: Mark 10:21; at St. Peter: Luke 22:61, etc). This is the only time we are told He showed indignation--provoked by the hypocrisy shown in verse 2.

6. The Pharisees were the spiritual leaders of Judaism; the Herodians were those who supported the regime of Herod, benefiting politically and financially thereby. The two were completely opposed to one another and avoided each other's company, yet they combined forces against Jesus. The Pharisees wanted to see the last of Him because they considered Him a dangerous innovator. The most recent occasion may have been when He pardoned sins (Mark 2:1ff) and interpreted with full authority the law of the Sabbath (Mark 3:2); they also want to get rid of Him because they consider that He lowered their own prestige in the eyes of the people by the way He cured the man with the withered hand. The Herodians, for their part, despised the supernatural and eschatological tone of Christ's message, since they looked forward to a purely political and temporal Messiah.
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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