Prayer: O Jesus, you have come that I might have life.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus in the synagogue curing the man’s withered hand.)
Although Jesus heals the man’s withered hand, the healing seems secondary to the confrontation. This reveals the unbelievable lack of compassion of many hearts.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud).
On another sabbath, Jesus entered the synagogue and taught. A man with a withered right hand was there. The scribes and Pharisees watched to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath so they could find a charge against him. Knowing their thoughts, Jesus said to the man, “Arise and stand here in front.” He rose and stood.
Jesus said to them, “I ask you if it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil, preserve life or to destroy it?” Looking around at all of them, he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was perfectly restored.
They became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- This story involves Jesus, the sick man, and Jesus’ opponents. All have different feelings.
- Jesus is filled with compassion, knowing that he has God’s power to heal.
- The man is filled with hope and expectation. The long years of his illness might come to an end.
- The opponents are filled with hardness of heart. They do not share Jesus’ compassion for the sick man’s suffering.
- Jesus works his miracle. The sick man experiences God’s healing. The opponents’ hearts are hardened even more.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus make my feelings like yours.
- Fill me with compassion for all who suffer.
- Fill me with hope. You will do great wonders in me.
- You call me. You tell me to stand before you. I will stand there in faith.
- Break open my hardened heart. Too often I close my heart to others.
- When I am healed, what will I do for you? I will bring everyone to be healed.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will live in the deepest faith in Jesus’ powers.
- I will not harden my heart to those who are suffering.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
“Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and it was restored.