The Man with a Withered Hand
Reflection on the Gospel of the Monday In The Twenty-Third Week In Ordinary Time
Jesus being God, he is love, he is filled with compassion seeing the man with the withered hand and does not think twice before he offers to heal him. Jesus very well knew what the Pharisees and scribes must be thinking, he did not bother to please them instead he does what is right in the eyes of God. Jesus’ message to them is clear that he and his disciples are not bound by the sabbath regulations when it is a question of doing good for people or saving a person’s life.
One of the 365 rules laid down by the Jews was not to work on Sabbath and that includes, to refuse to treat the sick person on a sabbath day. They did all this to prevent the holy from being contaminated by the unholy. They termed it to be going against the third Commandment.
When Jesus healed the man’s hand the Pharisees were filled with anger and started discussing amongst themselves what action they need to take against Jesus.
We also see the obedience of the man with the withered hand. He was not in the synagogue with the intention of receiving healing. For sure he was a Jew as he was allowed to enter the Synagogue. He too must have heard of Jesus and the miracles performed by him. When Jesus called him, his heart must have filled with hope and knew that even though there were objections, he was surely going to receive a blessing. He listens to Jesus and agrees to stand and stretches his hand when he is asked to do so without fear of the Pharisees and Scribes. Though not mentioned he must have been the happiest person at that moment there.
Have we become like the Pharisees caught up in the rules and regulations created by men and in the bargain forgetting our own human duties. We need to start seeing with the eyes of our Lord with compassion and love and going beyond our limits and reach out first to our own at home and then to those in society.