Jesus entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come forward." Then he said to them, "Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately conspired with the Herodians against him, about how to destroy him.
Today is Wednesday, the 22 January, in the Second Week of Ordinary Time.
The Choir of the King’s Consort sing Henry Purcell’s Hear My Prayer, O Lord: “Hear My Prayer, O Lord, and let my crying come unto thee.” As I listen, I too bring my prayer, my needs and my longings, the deepest feelings of my heart, before the Lord.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Mark.
In your imagination enter into the scene in the synagogue – see the people who want to trick Jesus, notice the man with the withered hand… now pay attention to Jesus and his response.
Jesus is grieved and angry at those who put rules and regulations above compassion, he is grieved at the hardness of their hearts. In your own life, where do you see compassion being squeezed out by hardness of heart?
As you listen to the passage again, become aware of your own feelings as you see Jesus and his accusers.
How do you want to respond to this Jesus who acts first and foremost out of love and compassion for people? What do you want to say to him?