Today is Friday the 30 October, in the 30th week of Ordinary Time.
One Hope Project sings, ‘The Quiet Place’. Prepare now to meet with the Lord in the quiet place today.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of Luke.
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?’ But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?’ And they could not reply to this.
Have you ever eaten a meal in an atmosphere of tension? When the conversation is forced and the food sticks in your throat? Today’s reading is one such situation. Jesus is having dinner with one of the senior leaders from the Pharisees. Picture the scene. It’s not exactly a relaxed affair. The meal is governed by a palpable tension. The other guests, and perhaps the host himself, are all watching Jesus closely. A man suffering from dropsy appears. Perhaps he is asking to be healed, or perhaps Jesus simply sees him in his need.
The question on everyone’s lips is: will Jesus abide by all the rules of the Sabbath, the rules of solemn rest, prohibiting all kinds of work? Jesus wipes the floor with their rules and regulations; he heals the man, meeting him in his humanity and need there and then, and coolly challenging the company around him. They are left speechless. Can you see the exchanged glances? The outraged expressions? How do you react?
As you hear the passage again, notice what this event reveals about the person of Jesus. What strong message is he sending out? Who is this Jesus who defies society’s conventions to meet the basic needs of humanity?
As you bring this prayer time to a close, what do you want to say to Jesus? Talk to him now, as one friend to another. Tell him what you truly think of him. As you have seen, he is all in favour of honesty.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.