Prayer: O Jesus, stretch out your hand. With your power set me free.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the synagogue.)
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is about to proclaim that God’s Kingdom is open to all. He starts with the most humble, curing a stooped woman in a synagogue. The controversy that follows shows Jesus’ great regard for her. She is a daughter of Abraham.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus was teaching in their synagogue on a sabbath. There was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. She was stooped and incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called her to himself and said, “Woman, you are free from your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her. She stood straight up and began thanking God.
The ruler of the synagogue, being angry that Jesus healed on the sabbath, said to the crowds, “There are six days for you to work. On those days, come to be healed but not on the sabbath.”
The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites, does not every one of you on the Sabbath day loose his ox or his ass from the manger and lead them to water? Ought not this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this illness on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his adversaries grew ashamed and all the people rejoiced.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- Our needs get Jesus’ attention. Our afflictions call him close.
- Jesus is sure of his powers. He performs this total and immediate healing in everyone’s sight.
- The ruler does not confront Jesus. Instead, he turns to the crowd to support his position.
- Jesus reveals his feelings. This woman has a special dignity. She is a daughter of Abraham.
- Comparing the woman to an ox or an ass destroys the ruler’s reasoning.
- The crowd decides the winner. Jesus has won their hearts and their minds. They all rejoice.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, I present to you all my needs.
- You call me. You say, “Come here, close by me.”
- You stretch out your hand. You touch me.
- Your gift is immediate. You do not wait. You do not put me off.
- Even on the sabbath, you heal. You set aside everything for my benefit.
- O Jesus, I too am a child of Abraham, the dignity of my Baptism.
- I am precious to you. When I am with you, I rejoice.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will see my illnesses as doors to Jesus’ help.
- I will ponder this question, “How does Jesus see me?”
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
Ought not this daughter of Abraham be loosed from her illness?