Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Fabian, Pope and Martyr (200-+250) and Saint Sebastian, Martyr (256-+284)
Letter to the Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17; Psalm 110:1-4; Mark 3:1-6
"Stretch out your hand!" Again, right before the eyes of the Pharisees, Jesus healed the man with the withered hand. As in yesterday's Gospel narrative, when Jesus' disciples were criticized for "picking the heads of grain" on the Sabbath, or Lord's explanation and logic and teaching fell on silent ears. But they really weren't silent, were they? Their real reaction, their anger, explodes at the end of the reading as they take counsel with the Herodians and plot to put Jesus to death.
The Pharisees' interpretation of the Law left them closed to the love and mercy of God. Jesus showed the true interpretation of the Law by healing on the Sabbath. God was offering them grace, but their minds and hearts were closed.
Jesus knew what the Pharisees' reaction would be; however, the suffering of another moved him. He acted on the impulse to heal despite their objections. Even though He was angered at the hardness of their hearts, Jesus was not distracted. He maintained His focus on healing the one who was suffering.
So it is in our world today. Jesus is ready to remove our suffering and pain through the sacrament of Reconciliation. In many cases, only the "hardness of our own hearts" keeps us away from this wonderful gift of grace.
In our world, there are no Pharisees who would object to the healing of our souls that have been "withered" by sin regardless of what day it is. The man with the withered hand had faith and trust in Jesus, just as we should have faith and trust.
Question of the Day: How will you allow Jesus to enter your life and make you whole?
Prayer: Lord, stretch out Your hand to bring us healing and make us whole. Amen.