Monday - Ordinary Time
1) Opening prayer
Almighty and ever-living God,
strengthen our faith, hope and love.
May we do with loving hearts
what you ask of us
and come to share the life you promise.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
2) Gospel Reading - Luke 13,10-17
One Sabbath day
Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and there before him was a woman
who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that crippled her; she
was bent double and quite unable to stand upright.
When Jesus saw
her he called her over and said, 'Woman, you are freed from your disability,'
and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she
president of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the
Sabbath, and he addressed all those present saying, 'There are six days when
work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the
But the Lord
answered him and said, 'Hypocrites! Is there one of you who does not untie his
ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it out for watering?
And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen
years -- was it not right to untie this bond on the Sabbath day?'
When he said
this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were
overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.
● The Gospel today describes the cure
of a woman who was crippled. It is a question of one of the many episodes which
Luke narrates, without too much order, in describing the long journey of Jesus
toward Jerusalem (Lk 9, 51 to 1928).
● Luke 13, 10-11: The situation
which brings about the action of Jesus. Jesus is in the synagogue on a day
of rest. He keeps the Law respecting Saturday and participating in the
celebration together with his people. Luke tells us that Jesus was teaching. In
the Synagogue there was a crippled woman. Luke says that she had a spirit which
crippled her and prevented her from straightening up. This was a way in which
the people of that time explained sicknesses. It was already eighteen years
that she was in that situation. The woman does not speak, does not have a name,
she does not ask to be cured, she takes no initiative. One is struck by her
● Luke 13, 12-13: Jesus cures the
woman. Seeing the woman, Jesus calls her and says to her: Woman, you are
freed from your disability!” The action of freeing is done by the word,
addressed directly to the woman, and through the imposition of the hands.
Immediately, she stands up and begins to praise the Lord. There is relation
between standing up and praising the Lord. Jesus does things in such a way that
the woman stands up, in such a way that she can praise God in the midst of the
people meeting in the assembly. Peter’s mother-in-law, once she was cured, she
stands up and serves (Mk 1, 31). To praise God is to serve the brothers!
● Luke 13, 14: The reaction of the
president of the Synagogue. The President of the Synagogue became indignant
seeing Jesus’ action, because he had cured on Saturday: “There are six days
when work is to be done. Come and be healed in one of those days and not on the
Sabbath”. In the criticism of the President of the Synagogue, people remember
the word of the Law of God which said: “Remember the Sabbath day and keep it
holy. For six days you shall labour and do all your work, but the seventh day
is a Sabbath for Yahweh your God. You shall do no work that day”, (Ex 20,
8-10). In this reaction is the reason why the woman could not participate at
that time. The dominion of conscience through the manipulation of the law of
God was quite strong. And this was the way of keeping the people submitted and
bent down, crippled.
● Luke 13, 15-16: The response of
Jesus to the President of the Synagogue. The President condemned persons
because he wanted them to observe the Law of God. What for the President
of the Synagogue is observance of the Law, for Jesus is hypocrisy: "Hypocrites,
is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on
the Sabbath and take it down for watering? And this woman, a daughter of
Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to
untie this bond on the Sabbath day?” With this example drawn from every day
life, Jesus indicates the incoherence of this type of observance of the Law of
God. If it is permitted to untie an ox or a donkey on Saturday to give it
water, much more will it be permitted to untie a daughter of Abraham to free
her from the power of evil. The true sense of the observance of the Law which
pleases God is this: to liberate persons from the power of evil and to make
them stand up, in order that they can render glory to God and praise him. Jesus
imitates God who sustains those who are unsteady or weak and lifts those who
fall (Ps 145, 14; 146, 8).
● Luke 13, 17: The reaction of the
people before the action of Jesus. The teaching of Jesus confuses his
enemies, but the crowds are filled with joy because of the wonderful things
that Jesus is doing: “All the people were overjoyed at all the
wonders he worked”. In Palestine, at the time of Jesus, women lived
crippled, bent, and submitted to the husband, to the parents and to the
religious heads of her people. This situation of submission was justified by
the religion. But Jesus does not want her to continue to be crippled, bent. To
choose and to liberate persons does not depend on a determinate date. It can be
done every day, even on Saturday!
4) Personal questions
● The situation of women has changed
very much since that time, or not? Which is the situation of women in society
and in the Church? Is there any relation between religion and oppression of
● Did the crowds exult before the
action of Jesus? What liberation is taking place today and is leading the crowd
to exult and to give thanks to God?
5) Concluding prayer
How blessed is
anyone who rejects the advice of the wicked
and does not
take a stand in the path that sinners tread,
nor a seat in
company with cynics,
delights in the law of Yahweh
and murmurs his law day and night. (Ps 1,1-2)