Daily Gospel Reflection – Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Bishop Robert Barron
January 18, 2023
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel: Mk 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
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus withstands the opposition of the Pharisees to heal a man with a withered hand. His healings like this one signified the arrival of the kingdom of God.
When Jesus began to preach, his theme was that the kingdom of God is at hand. In his own person an entirely new way of ordering things was on offer. Then—in his love and nonviolence, in his mocking of the Pharisees and religious establishment, in his healing and teaching—Jesus was demonstrating precisely what the reign of the God of Israel looks like.
This way of life inevitably awakened the opposition of the powers that be. At the climax of his ministry, Jesus faced down the resistance of “the world,” to use the typical New Testament term, meaning that whole congeries of cruelty, betrayal, denial, violence, corruption, and hatred by which human affairs are typically ordered.
He permitted all of that darkness to wash over him, to crush him, to snuff him out. But then, on the third day, he rose again from the dead in the power of the Holy Spirit, and thereby outflanked, outmaneuvered, and swallowed up the darkness.