Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.”
When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, “There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.”
But the Lord answered him and said, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?” When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
The exchange between the synagogue leader and Jesus makes me think of the elementary students I teach and how quick they are to tell me what their classmates are doing wrong.
“John is breaking pencils!” “Sally is picking her nose!” “Bobby just said he doesn’t like school!”
What exhausts me most is that they are so quick to rat each other out for every little thing. I fall into it sometimes as well in what seems like a culture of judgement. The Lord shows us what is right and wrong so that we can focus on finding the good in one another and helping our neighbor. How great it is to have a Savior who guides us! Let us spend our energy on fulfilling God’s mission of charity and practicing prudence in our own lives.
Lord Jesus, you have told us not to judge lest we be judged. Open our hearts to meet all those we encounter with love and patience. Help us to forgive others for the small and large acts that have hurt us. May we know that you love each of us, and always offer us the opportunity to turn back to you. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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