Philippians 1: 1-11
Luke 14: 1-6
"Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?"
Today’s Gospel is one of the many Sabbath miracles in Luke. You would think Jesus’ miracles on the Sabbath would draw admiration and gratitude from all. Unfortunately, each incident seemed to incite increasing hostility from the religious leaders. They are trying to trap Him, and He knows it. But, since the law of love supersedes the law of rest, Jesus decides to heal the man with dropsy anyway.
I love this story and the way that Jesus, once again, renders the Pharisees speechless. It is awesome the way He always has a quick "Win-Win" response to a "Lose-Lose" encounter with the Scribes and Pharisees !
The "Sabbath " was meant to be a time to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and the goodness of his works, both in creation and redemption. It was intended to bring everyday work to a halt and to provide needed rest and refreshment. It was not, however, intended to put a stop to love of God and love of neighbor.
We are never exempt from loving and helping our neighbors. Sometimes it’s easy to come up with lots of reasons why we can’t help out and sometimes it may be hard to love someone who has done wrong to us. But Jesus didn’t tell us, "help others unless you’re too busy" or "only help the people who have been kind to you". We are called to always make a positive difference in the lives of our brothers and sisters.
We honor the Sabbath by doing what Jesus asked us to do…BY LOVING GOD AND BY LOVING GOD’S PEOPLE…in all our thoughts, in all our words and especially in all of our actions.
Deacon Brian Clements is a retired member of the retreat team at Mater Dolorosa Retreat Center in Sierra Madre, California.