Today’s Gospel: Mark 3:1-6
The gospel today speaks of the Pharisees watching closely to see if Jesus would heal the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath. Do we watch closely too, to see if the “rules” are being followed rather than helping someone in need?
A Protestant Pastor friend of mine speaks in terms of some Christians being “legalistic” in their faith; clinging too closely to the letter of the law, rather than reaching out to others and healing them with our gifts.
For Lent when I was young, we would always give up something as a sacrifice: candy, cookies, and other goodies. It never occurred to my young self to give of myself: my time, my love, my company.
Jesus focuses on the person, not the day of the week. We too may fellowship with God, not just in church, not just on Sundays; fellowship with Him how he taught us, by loving others.
How can I heal another soul today? How can I reach out of my little world and show love to someone? Perhaps I can call an older relative, visit an elderly neighbor, volunteer at a soup kitchen? Often a loving smile can heal a person’s heart. Giving of oneself without thought is the greatest love we can show another.
Jesus knew that the Pharisees were watching Him, he was angry, but the gospel says, “He was deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts.” He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” How can we soften our stubborn hearts towards others? It doesn’t matter what their status is or who they are, they are children of God and ours to minister to.
Who can you ask to “stretch out their hand” to you today? How will you offer healing?
God, I ask you to soften my stubbornness and heal my withered heart, as you healed the man on the Sabbath. May I love others with your heart this day, so that I might be as one with you and do my part to heal the world.
Copyright 2014 Maureen O’Shea