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Woman, you are set free


GOSPEL: LK 13:10-17

*rff reflections today

JESUS was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath. And a woman was there who for 18 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 18 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.

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Jesus’ teaching ministry is accompanied by healing. Jesus not only speaks to the woman with a bent back; he also lays hands on her until she straightens up! The healing brings great relief to the woman who has suffered for 18 years, staring on the ground like an animal. Jesus restores her dignity as “a daughter of Abraham” who can now stand erect and lift her face to heaven to worship God.

The synagogue ruler loathes the fact that Jesus has done the healing on a Sabbath. The ruler extemporizes on the importance of Sabbath, and on how it is forbidden to work on the day of rest. Jesus makes a rebuttal, arguing on the side of mercy. An ox or an ass is untied from the manger to lead it out for watering even on a Sabbath. Then why not liberate this woman who has been in bondage for 18 years? If the synagogue ruler were in the woman’s shoes, he will surely not mind on what day is Jesus healing him. Are you bent with the troubles of life? Come to Jesus, seek his mercy and love.

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2020,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.