Marg Gobius, Leader of School Evangelisation at MacKillop College, reads from the Gospel of Luke (13: 10-17) in which Jesus cures a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years on the Sabbath to the indignation of a synagogue official, who took Jesus to task for doing this.
Marg says there are two main messages we can take from today’s Gospel passage:
Firstly, Jesus saw the woman and recognised her brokenness and her humanity. He wanted to put a stop to the suffering she has experienced for the past 18 years.
And secondly, we are reminded from other Gospels that Jesus often has conflict with the Pharisees in relation to the Sabbath.
In this story the leader of the Synagogue feels the conflict with the message he has been given from the Torah, to keep Holy and to rest on the Sabbath, to the point where he makes the statement that sounds quite ludicrous – come and be healed on any other day but the Sabbath.
Sometimes we can get caught up in how things should be, what they should look like that we forget about the humanity and worth of others in our efficiency.
Jesus introduces humanity and compassion into the mix, highlighting the worth of the woman over beasts of burden, and thinking only of the freedom that she will experience from his healing touch.
So, Marg asks, what can we take from these two messages today?
For Marg, she feels that sometimes getting caught up in the busyness of her day and all she plans to get done that she doesn’t always make the time to check in with others or to give her time to pursuits beyond her job.
We all have busy times, Marg says, and she challenges to us today to think about one way we can show someone their worth; that they are important and worthy of our attention; and that they are more important than the things we planned to do or have to get done.
In closing, Marg invites us to take on Jesus’ compassion today.