Homily for Wednesday of 2nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II (1)

Homily for Wednesday of 2nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II

Theme: “Stretch out your hand.”

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Homily for Wednesday January 19 2022







Homily for Wednesday of 2nd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle II
Theme: “Stretch out your hand.”
By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas

St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches
Homily for Wednesday January 19 2022
Mk 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched him closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
The Pharisees are watching Jesus if He would perform another healing on a Sabbath. Aware of this, Jesus makes sure that His enemies have nothing to say against Him. After all, He can cure anybody without doing any physical action and thereby not violate the law of the Sabbath. For example, in the Gospel today, He did not do anything. He just uttered a simple command to the man with a withered hand: “Stretch out your hand.” The man just stretched his hand and it was healed.
Today, the Lord is giving us the same command: “Stretch out your hand.” As we look around us, we see so many people who are suffering: the sick, the lonely, the abandoned, the poor and the oppressed. So much of these sufferings can be alleviated if only more people stretch out their hands to them. Unfortunately, many of us have ‘withered hands’. We do not want to get involved; we are unwilling to reach out. The motto of many people nowadays is: “Mind your own business.” That is the motto of selfish and greedy persons. Needless to say, this kind of behavior displeases the Lord. This is shown in His reaction to the Pharisees in front of Him as He looks at them “with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart”.
Saint Paul, in his Letter to the Romans, gives us this reminder: “None of us lives for oneself, and no one dies for oneself. For if we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord” (Rom 14:7-8). Selfishness, living only for oneself, should have no room in the heart of every Christian. If we really want to live for the Lord, we cannot remain impervious to the sufferings of so many people around us. We have to stretch out our hands to them.
It is through our hands that Jesus accomplishes His mission in the world. A French proverb says, “To fold the hands in prayer is well; to open them in charity is better.” St. Vincent de Paul gives this exhortation: “Extend your mercy towards others, so that there can be no one in need whom you meet without helping. For what hope is there for us if God should withdraw His mercy from us?”
Stretching our hands is not just a gesture of reaching out to others in need. It is also an expression of our desire to reach out to God, a posture of openness. So, when we reach out our hands to others, we also become more open to receive even greater blessings from God. As Charles Dickens said, “As the purse is emptied, the heart is filled.” Indeed, God can never be outdone in generosity. Hence, “The more you give, the more you receive.”
Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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