Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit. Give me faith in Jesus’ powers.
Imagination: (Picture Jesus healing the man with the withered hand.)
For a while, Jesus continues his ministry within the synagogue. Unfortunately, this great healing of a withered hand is overshadowed by a controversy. This leads to the pronouncement that “doing good” and “saving life” is more important than Sabbath laws.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus again entered the synagogue and there was a man with a withered hand. His enemies watched him to see if Jesus would heal on the Sabbath, so they might accuse him.
Jesus said to the man with the withered hand, “Stand up here.” Then he said to his enemies, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil? To save life or to destroy it?” They did not respond.
Looking at them, he was filled with anger. He grieved because of the blindness of their hearts. He said to the man, “Stretch forth your hand.” As he stretched it forth, the hand was restored. His enemies went out and consulted with others how they might destroy him.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder those that attract you.)
- Time and again, Jesus returns to the synagogue, so it would receive the new powers of the Kingdom.
- Jesus did many healings on the Sabbath because that was when the people gathered in the synagogue.
- Some reject his powers. They do not understand the greatness of his gift or the importance of his invitation.
- Fortunately, this man does believe. He stands up and stretches out his hand. By Jesus’ power, he becomes a living sign of the Kingdom.
- Jesus’ enemies still resist. This healing only hardens their hearts. Even miracles will not change them.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- Come to my synagogue Jesus. Restore my life! Pour out your blessings.
- O Jesus, I need your powers and I need your Kingdom.
- Jesus, turn your eyes to my afflictions. Let me hear you say “Stand up here.”
- Jesus, I will stretch out the withered hand of my emotional needs, my sinful tendencies and my ruined life. You will make me whole.
- I will be a sign to others. By my changed life, I will be your witness.
- Jesus, do not let me harden my heart to your invitations.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own.)
- I will always trust that Jesus will come, will enter my heart, and will heal me.
- I will not allow my critics to sway my decisions.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation)
As he stretched forth the hand, it was healed.