Monday, September 05, 2011

The Hope for Glory

Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time

September 5, 2011

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking -in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church of which I am a minister in accordance with God’s stewardship given to me to bring to completion for you the word of God,the mystery hidden from ages and from generations past. But now it has been manifested to his holy ones, to whom God chose to make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; it is Christ in you, the hope for glory. Colossians 1:24-27

Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so and his hand was restored. Luke 6:9-10


Father, you have commissioned us like Paul to minister to your people as a way to fulfill the mystery of your words and works. Help us to imitate the example of your Son and never hesitate from doing good whenever and wherever it is needed. Amen.


Consider the work that the Lord completed in today's Gospel. Despite the traditions strictly adhered to about resting on the Sabbath, Jesus went to the synagogue and encountered both those who were trying to trap him and the man with the withered hand.

Some who sought the Lord's miracles were cured in private and then admonished not to tell anyone. Instead, Jesus made a minor production of this cure. Jesus called the man to the front of the crowd. As the man stood before the congregation, his hand was cured while Jesus made the point that doing good cannot take a holiday. Christ's miracles now reside in the man with the withered hand.

The onlookers were astonished -- some by the curing and others by the fact that Jesus did not wait 24 hours for the Sabbath to pass.

Following this scene, Jesus departs to prayer in the mountains and them commissions the apostles to carry on works like this.


What work do you seek to accomplish this week that begins with Labor Day? Work is an integral part of Christian life as much as prayer. Benedictine spirituality is built upon the two pillars of prayer and work. Ora et labora. These cannot be separated any more than the man could be separated from his withered hand.

Is Jesus also trying to impress upon us that good works cannot withstand our propensity to procrastinate? So let's get on with our good works in the example of Jesus.