HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 23RD WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME CYCLE II
THEME: HOPE FOR THE HOPELESS.
BY: Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR MONDAY SEPTEMBER 5 2022
‘It happened that, on a Sabbath, when Jesus entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered’
Again, in the Gospel of today (Luke 6:6-11), Jesus broke the Sabbath law to heal a man whose right hand was withered. It was his right hand which was withered, the worse of the two for him, for he could scarcely follow his handicraft or earn his bread. His best hand was useless, his bread-winner failed him. He could not work as his fellow men. He had been accustomed to go to the synagogue as others of his townsmen did. And he was marked by God for restoration.
Jesus was familiar with the Jewish law. He knew that healing on the Sabbath was not allowed. Even He knew the thoughts of the Pharisees as they watched Him. However, He wasn’t afraid of the consequences of His actions. He was ready to defy the traditional legality of the Pharisees who said that it was wrong to heal on the Sabbath day.
The man’s hand had lost the moisture of life. The spirits which gave it strength had been dried out of it, and there it was a withered, wilted, useless thing, with which he could do nothing. And to him Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.” in spite of the fury of the Pharisees, Jesus healed. You must always be grateful that man holds no key to our blessings. He ignores man’s protocols. God pays no attention to what man thinks about us. We would expect that the Pharisees should even beg Jesus to heal a man in that condition. No, they were against it because it was a Sabbath day. We have devised laws to cover up our hates, oppression and torture of others. If we can’t help, let us not hinder.
The goodnews is that withered hand can be active again. In a sense, many of us suffer from withered hands. There are things that have made us inactive, helpless, frustrated; not being able to fulfill our dreams. With a withered hand, our financial resources could be hindered, our joy deprived and above we also paralyzed so that we cannot serve God as we would like.
The real issue is faith. Jesus fulfilled God’s intention for the Sabbath day by restoring this man to health and strength. In answering Christ’s call to step forward, the man showed what a little faith and obedience can do. This tested his courage and faith as he rose above his human fears. He entirely trusted Christ, and his healing was God’s response. It is true that many Pharisees around us would rather want us to remain with a withered hand than being healed. But no matter their schemes, our contact with Jesus is a contact with freedom, revival and life. In faith, we stretch our hand towards our only source of strength and help. God remains our only hope in hopeless situations.GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God revive us from every form of withered hand that hinders us in life. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ our Lord Amen. Please, stay safe. Good morning