MONDAY, THIRTIETH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Rom 8: 12-17; Ps 68: 2, 4, 6-7, 20-21; Lk 13: 10-17
A GOD WHO HEALS AND LIBERATES
The first reading presents two ‘types’ of Christians: those who are moved and led by the Spirit of God and those who are led by a human spirit. The latter are those of us who look at God in a very human way, and treat God like another human person, someone who is there solely to fulfil our human needs. Therefore, to be led by the Spirit does not just mean trying to be less sinful; rather, it involves a transformation of our attitude towards God. Our constant and daily striving should not just be towards avoiding sinful deeds, nor must we be content with our progress towards holiness just by multiplying devotions; our striving should be towards growing in openness to the Spirit of God. Thus, this striving will make us docile to the promptings and inspiration of the Spirit. More importantly, though, it will fill us with the wisdom that comes from faith, opening our hearts to the spiritual worth of the external things that define and symbolize the Christian faith.
In the Gospel of the day, Jesus heals the crippled woman on the Sabbath. The Sabbath was originally meant to be a sign of creation and liberation. It was a sign of creation, God after creating the world in six days, rested on the seventh. He blessed it and made it holy. It was also a sign of liberation because the Israelites, after many years of slavery in Egypt, finally entered into God’s “rest” in the Promised Land. The Sabbath was thus an ideal day of healing, restoration and for setting people free.
By healing the woman, Jesus sets her free from her many years of bondage and makes her an entirely new person. He, thereby, proves that he is the true Sabbath – the one who gives rest and the one who liberates. Like the woman who was bent double for eighteen years, we might be burdened with sin unable to see God. Christ wants to restore us to our dignity as God’s beloved children. The woman standing up straight for the first time in eighteen years, raises her voice in thanksgiving to God.
Response: This God of ours is a God who saves.
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