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Luke 14:1-6

The Word of God

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.

Luke 14:1-6
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Knowing that he was observed, Jesus was able to act in freedom for the good of another. I ask God to help me not to hold back from what I know to be good - even at the risk of criticism.
    • Even in Jesus time, it seems that there were those who cared more for animals than they did for their brothers and sisters! Let us pray that our care for creation always begin with championing the rights of the poor and those most in need.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • One can often judge others based on appearances only and not take the trouble to realise what is truly going on. This can be very hurtful when it happens to me personally. It is a grace to be able to treat others the way we would like to be treated ourselves.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • The Pharisees had allowed regulations and propriety to take over; They had become institutionalised. Jesus showed them that they had lost sight of the dignity of the people they claimed to lead. Jesus challenges me to respond to those in need, to think less of myself than of those whose need is greater than mine.
  • Some thoughts on today's scripture

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    • Can I visualise the setting where Jesus meets the man suffering from dropsy and cures him with a hostile audience of lawyers and Pharisees looking on?
    • What feelings and motivations are going on in the various characters? Why do the Pharisees react as they do? What does the man with dropsy make of it?
    • Meals often feature in Jesus' parables and in the key moments of his public life - Cana, Martha and Mary, the meeting with Magdalene, the last supper. He remains present to us in the sacred meal of the Eucharist. It is at meals, sitting, relaxed, with time to listen, that we are most alive to one another.
    • Yet meals are disappearing. Many families find that fast food, freezers and micro-waves, the presence of TV, the pull of other commitments, have almost put an end to family meals. In the USA 40% of meals are eaten in cars!
    • Have I a place for meals in my life?
    • The Sabbath was an occasion for a holy or religious meal. This Sabbath meal is invaded by a sick man who seems to be hoping for healing. No words are spoken between him and Jesus, but the movement in the incident is to put compassion before the law. This is a constant theme of Jesus throughout his life and the gospel. Maybe prayer can be a time to bring people in our mind and heart to God and see them with the compassionate eye of Jesus. Compassion reaches deeply into our hearts, both the giver and the one who receives it. All of us are the stronger for finding compassion between us and another, and the other is stronger too.
    • Another row about the Sabbath! Jesus knows that religious attitudes and cultural customs can harden and people may be ignored. The sick are forgotten while we go to pray! In prayer today I cold remember people close to me whose needs I may, wittingly or unwittingly, ignore.