WEDNESDAY 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL, COMMENTARY AND READING. “STRETCH OUT YOUR HAND” (Mk 3:1–6 ).
GOSPEL OF WEDNESDAY OF THE 2ND WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
The curing of the man with a withered hand
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
- The cunning pharisees observe Jesus if He would cure the man with a withered hand on a sabbath, and this is equivalent to say that if He would do what is good on the day which God commanded man to rest.
- Anyone who has upright conscience would do what is good when the opportune moment arises. However, a legalistic mindset with a wrong interpretation of the Law, worse if one is moved by pride and envy, would react with blindness, hardness of heart, and hatred, as the Pharisees did.
- Jesus poses the question which bares the Pharisees’ attitude as nonsense and obviously erroneous: “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” And to prove his point, and as a manifestation of his love and mercy, Jesus told the man: “Stretch out your hand.”
Dear brethren in Christ, may we avoid any thought or word which entails a negative attitude towards the good which others are doing. Instead of criticizing or giving into envy, may we thank God for the good that is being done.
May we also learn how to stretch our hand asking God with faith and abandonment in all our concerns, and also to obey Jesus’ command so as to receive His grace, for God, who wishes to help and save us, cannot do so without our free and personal correspondence.
Stay safe always. A great day ahead and God bless! Fr. Rolly Arjonillo
Almighty ever-living God, who govern all things, both in heaven and on earth, mercifully hear the pleading of your people and bestow your peace on our times. Through our Lord.Collect prayer 2nd week in Ordinary Time
TOPIC: WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT – TO FOLLOW THE LAW OR TO LOVE THE FOLLOWER?
In today’s gospel reading (Mark 3:1-6), Jesus reminds us about His commandment of love that should be greater than any law. A man with a withered hand comes to Him for healing on the Sabbath. The Pharisees are watching to see if Jesus will disobey the law prohibiting work on Sabbath by healing this man. There is no good time to do good. Do good ALL the time. Jesus does not say that laws are bad. In fact, he goes to the synagogue on the Sabbath in fulfillment of the Law. Jesus though despises the narrow-minded interpretation of the Law by the Pharisees that restricts one from performing acts of goodness any time, even on the Sabbath.
READING FROM SECOND VATICAN COUNCIL
Behold! I will save my people
From Lumen gentium
By an utterly free and mysterious decree of his own wisdom and goodness, the eternal Father created the whole world. His plan was to dignify men with a participation in his own divine life. When in Adam men had fallen, he did not abandon them, but ceaselessly offered them help to salvation, in anticipation of Christ the Redeemer, ‘who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature’. All the elect, before time began, the Father ‘foreknew and predestined to become conformed to the image of his Son, that he should be the firstborn among many brethren’.
All those who would believe in Christ he planned to assemble in the holy Church, which was already foreshadowed from the beginning of the world. In a remarkable way the Church was prepared for throughout the history of the people of Israel and by means of the Old Covenant. Established in the present era of time, she was made manifest by the outpouring of the Spirit. At the end of time she will achieve her glorious fulfilment. Then, as may be read in the holy Fathers, all just men from the time of Adam, ‘from Abel, the just one, to the last of the elect’, will be gathered together with the Father in the universal Church.
Finally, those who have not yet received the gospel are related in various ways to the People of God. In the first place there is that people to whom the covenants and promises were made and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh. On account of their fathers, this people remains most dear to God, for God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues.
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the creator. In the first place among these there are the Moslems; they profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and along with us adore the one and merciful God, who will judge mankind on the last day. Nor is God himself far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is he who gives to all men life and breath and every other gift, and who as Saviour wills that all men be saved.
Those also can attain to everlasting salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and, moved by grace, strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does divine Providence deny the help necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God but who strive, aided by his grace, to live a good life.
Whatever goodness or truth is found amongst them, is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the gospel, and as given by him who enlightens all men that they may finally have life.
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