The dry hand or the dry heart?
Reading: Luke 6:6-11
And it came to pass also on another sabbath, that he entered into the synagogue and taught: and there was a man whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and Pharisees watched him, whether he would heal on the sabbath day; that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and said to the man which had the withered hand, Rise up, and stand forth in the midst. And he arose and stood forth. Then said Jesus unto them, I will ask you one thing; Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it? And looking round about upon them all, he said unto the man, Stretch forth thy hand. And he did so: and his hand was restored whole as the other. And they were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.
After having announced that He is the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord Jesus teaches in a synagogue, also on a Sabbath.
How important to the scribes and Pharisees are the traditions and commandments with which they think to please God? Isn’t all Scripture full of the Lord’s calls for mercy over empty rituality? How many times did the prophets confront Israel with their superficiality and hypocrisy?
Jesus, who knows their heart, exposes their harshness, asking them: What do you think? Is it wrong to help the suffering? Does God want us to put our ritualism and tradition above a being made in His image and likeness?
Even if they say nothing, the harshness is such that they cannot be amazed at the goodness of God, who with a simple gesture transforms the life of this man.
MEDITATE: Do we always have Jesus’ gaze on the dignity of others? Do we see the image of God in the one next to us?