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You are an Instrument of the Lord's
Gospel Reflection for October 24, 2022
“He was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath. And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said, ‘Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.’ He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath, said to the crowd in reply, ‘There are six days when work should be done. Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.’ The Lord said to him in reply, ‘Hypocrites! Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering? This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated; and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.” (Luke 13:10-17 NABRE)
Sometimes we treat people who are in need as an inconvenience. We turn away from them because we do not have the time, or maybe even the means, to care for them. Like the Pharisees, we carry on with our own lives and responsibilities, and sometimes use that as an excuse not to care for others, because we have too many other things to think about.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus condemns the Pharisees for overlooking this woman in need. He calls them hypocrites for using the sabbath as an excuse to avoid helping her, even though they carry out other duties on the sabbath that are beneficial to themselves. Jesus recognizes this woman’s pain and long-suffering, and thinking only of her, He heals her. He demonstrated that she is worth more than anything else that could have been accomplished with His time.
A person in need, a beloved creation of the Creator, or a son or daughter of God, is always worth more than the affairs of this world. Of course, we all have responsibilities to take care of, and oftentimes, we feel in a crunch for time, or even for energy. Yet, there will always be errands to run, bills to get paid, and cleaning to do. You will always have those things to get done. But a person in need, will not always have YOU, someone who can introduce them to the love of God in a world that has treated them so cruelly.
So, the next time you’re faced with an opportunity to be there for someone in need, remember the example Jesus set for us. Even a small act of kindness or a short conversation would help someone feel seen, loved, and cared for. You are an instrument of the Lord’s, so don’t act like the Pharisees the next time Jesus wants to use you to help someone in need.
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