Daily Gospel Reflection - Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
September 5, 2022
Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Lk 6:6-11
Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. When day came, he called his disciples to himself, and from them he chose Twelve, whom he also named Apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called a Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. And he came down with them and stood on a stretch of level ground. A great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and even those who were tormented by unclean spirits were cured. Everyone in the crowd sought to touch him because power came forth from him and healed them all.
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in our Gospel today, Jesus heals a man with a withered hand. As I’ve said many times before, we tend to domesticate Christ, reducing him to a guru or a teacher, one spiritual guide among many. But this is to do violence to the Gospel, which presents him not simply as teacher but as savior.
I realize that the culture militates against Christianity at this point, for it steadily teaches the ideology of self-esteem and self-assertion. "I’m okay and you’re okay." "Who are you to tell me how to behave?"
But this sort of thing—whatever value it might have politically or psychologically—is simply inimical to a biblical Christianity. The biblical view is that we have, through the abuse of our freedom, gotten ourselves into an impossible bind. Sin has wrecked us in such a fundamental way that we have become dysfunctional. Until we truly feel what it means to be lost and helpless, we will not appreciate who Jesus is and what he means.
Jesus is someone who has rescued us, saved us, done something that we could never, even in principle, do for ourselves.