Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
January 19, 2022
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mc 3:1-6
Jesus entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, “Come up here before us.” Then he said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” But they remained silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to put him to death.
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, today’s Gospel shows an angry Jesus healing a man with a withered hand. Whenever the Bible speaks of the divine anger, which it does a lot, it is talking poetically about God’s passion to set things right. God doesn’t go in and out of emotional states. He doesn’t fall into snits. He longs to establish justice on the earth and stands athwart those forces opposed to his purpose. This is precisely what Jesus does toward the Pharisees in today’s Gospel.
The episode concerns the idea of justice. Now, what is justice? I love Plato’s simple definition: justice is rendering to each his due. It is fairness, or, to use more biblical language, "righteousness." It means doing the right thing. To state it negatively, it is not to cheat, not to take advantage of, not to deny someone his rights.
A steady teaching of the Bible is that God stands for justice and wants us to stand for it too. Jesus says, "Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness." These are words that have inspired social reformers from William Wilberforce to William Lloyd Garrison to Martin Luther King to John Paul II. Let’s reflect on them today.