Faith Daily | 29 October 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST
Almighty and everlasting God,
give to us the increase of faith, hope and love;
and, that we may obtain what you promise,
make us to love what you command;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Luke 14: 1-6
On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. 2Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. 3And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, ‘Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?’ 4But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. 5Then he said to them, ‘If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?’ 6And they could not reply to this.
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Hilary Bell
Not for the first time in Luke’s gospel we read that Jesus was invited to the home of a Pharisee for a meal. On the previous occasion (Luke 11: 37 -41) his host was amazed, we might think even scandalized, that Jesus did not first wash in accordance with ritual. Jesus went on to rebuke the Pharisees for the outward show of cleanliness while harbouring greed and wickedness, for their hypocrisy in proclaiming piety while neglecting “justice and the love of God”.
We also read in Luke 13: 10-17 that Jesus healed a crippled woman on the Sabbath, when teaching in the synagogue. The leader of the synagogue rebuked Jesus on the basis that healing was “work” and therefore not to be done on the Sabbath. On that occasion Jesus reminded them that they would untie their animals on the Sabbath so that they could go to water. The implication is that if this were done for an animal then surely another human who has suffered deserves to be shown compassion. Loving God demands that we see the needs of others and show them love, just as Jesus did.
In this passage Jesus has again been invited to the home of a Pharisee, perhaps less a gesture of hospitality than a setting in which to watch him suspiciously, to find fault and to accuse. This time Jesus takes the initiative, asking the lawyers and Pharisees present if it was lawful to cure on the Sabbath. They were silent. The commandment is to keep the Sabbath holy, to commit the day to God. There is no admonition “you shall not cure nor alleviate suffering”.
Jesus heals the man with dropsy, going on to tell the onlookers that if a child or animal fell into a well on the Sabbath, it would be rescued. This man needs rescue, he needs to be cured. We are told “they could not reply to this” but we can imagine the resentment that is building within them.
How can I commit myself to God while neglecting the needs of others? How can I accept the “amazing grace” of God unless I am prepared to extend compassion to my neighbours? How can I come to God in prayer, to worship, seeking to be “right with God” without putting things right with others. This is not Sabbath work, this is the work of every day.
FINAL PRAYER: A prayer of compassion Mother Teresa:
Lord, open our eyes
that we may see you in our brothers and sisters.
Lord, open our ears
that we may hear the cries of the hungry, the cold, the frightened, the oppressed.
Lord, open our hearts
that we may love each other as you love us.
Renew us in your spirit.
Lord, free us and make us one.