Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Reflection: Mark 3:1-6

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time – Mark 3:1-6

Today Jesus went to the synagogue on the Sabbath, as was his custom.  When he entered the synagogue, he saw a man there who had “a withered hand.”  The Pharisees who were in the synagogue were watching Jesus closely.   They hoped that Jesus would have the audacity to cure someone on the Sabbath.  Thus, they would be able to justly accuse him of breaking the Sabbath. 
However, Jesus was aware of their thoughts. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here!” Then Jesus turned to the Pharisees and asked them, “Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil?”  None of the Pharisees responded to his question.  They remained silent.  Then Jesus looked directly at the Pharisees.  Jesus turned to the man and said to him, “Stand up!  Stretch out your hand.” The man’s hand was restored.  At this, the Pharisees immediately left the synagogue and approached the Herodians.  Together, they began to plot how they might put Jesus to death. 

This passage is from the third chapter of Mark’s Gospel.  Jesus had just begun his ministry of teaching and preaching.  Clearly the Pharisees were concerned about Jesus’ growing popularity.  Even though Jesus had just begun his ministry, the Pharisees were already concerned about the influence he had with the people.  Thus, they decided to watch him.  
I wonder what it was like for Jesus to be watched at all times by the Pharisees.  He was under constant scrutiny.  Despite the fact that Jesus was God, he also was completely human.  As a human being, he must have been concerned and afraid of what might lie ahead.  However, Jesus did not let fear keep him from reaching out and helping the people.  He refused to stop ministering to the people who were in need and he continued to publicly preach his message.

I wonder if we were in this type of situation we would have the courage to do be faithful to our call and our missions. I pray we will!  Jesus will strengthen us and grace us! 

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