Sep 7 2020 Reflection
Monday 7 September 2020
First Reading: 1 COR 5:1-8
Lead me in your justice, Lord.
PS 5:5-6, 7, 12
Gospel Reading: LK 6:6-11
Today’s Note: Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
They became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus. (Luke 6:11)
How is it that Jesus wasn’t afraid to do the things he did, including the healing in today’s Gospel? Think of the level of hostility he faced—not just in the episode in today’s passage, but in many other circumstances as well. This hostility continued to build until some of the Jewish leaders actually began plotting to kill him (John 11:53).
Why was he not afraid? Because he lived in deep communion with his Father. After another sabbath healing, he explained, “A son cannot do anything on his own, but only what he sees his father doing. . . . For the Father loves his Son and shows him everything that he himself does” (John 5:19, 20). Jesus’ relationship with his Father overcame any temptation to worry or fear, to avoid discomfort or suffering. It’s also what gave him the strength to choose the cross: “Not my will but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Today, take a few minutes to consider your relationship with your heavenly Father. In what ways might you become more aware of his love for you? How might you grow in trust so that you can follow his will, even when it puts you in an uncomfortable or hostile situation?
Listening to our fears instead of trusting in our Father can close the door to what he wants to do through us. For example, if Jesus had given in to fear of what the scribes and Pharisees thought of him, that man with the withered hand may not have been healed. If Mary had allowed her concern of what others might say about her take precedence over the angel Gabriel’s words, she might not have said yes to becoming Jesus’ mother.
The temptation to fear is normal and only human. But that is why God offers us a relationship with him. He knows that the more we come to know him and experience his love for us, the more we will trust to do what he asks. As we seek him and his will for us each day, he will help us step out in confidence and trust.
“Father, help me to trust you and to follow your leading.”