Sunday, October 26, 2014

You Are Light

For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of light.   Ephesians 5:8

“Does not each one of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his ass from the manger and lead it out for watering?  This daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now, ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day from this bondage?”  Luke 13:15-16

Piety and study are the fuel that lights our lamp so we can spread love in action. 

Light cannot exist in darkness.  If you put a flashlight in a dark closet, it is not a dark closet any longer.  Once we become the light of the Lord, we have a duty, an obligation to bring light where we go.  Love is not an option.  It is the only choice.  If we live, then we shall love.  We shall love God.  We shall love each other.

When Jesus was confronted in the temple on the Sabbath with the woman who was crippled, he had an obligation to love her.  In this instance, love required Jesus to heal her.  It was his very God-man nature to do so.  He had no other choice.  Then, when he was confronted by the hypocritical leader of the synagogue, Jesus set him straight.  Maybe too stridently. 

According to Roger Karban writing in the National Catholic Reporter, “Just because a teaching or practice is new to some doesn't mean it's really new. It simply might have been outside our field of vision -- for centuries.”  Healing on the sabbath seemed new to those who were used to being told not to do anything on the Sabbath. 

Jesus’ words, Luke reports, went one giant step beyond just healing.  The case Jesus made that the woman deserved healing even if it was the Sabbath humiliated the leader in front of his congregation.  Despite numerous examples in Luke’s account of Jesus’ life when the Lord was speaking truth-to-power, the Sabbath healings are when Jesus sealed his fate.  There were plenty of other confrontations.  However, Jesus extracted total victory and humiliated his adversary this time and in his series of sabbath healings in order to set the wheels in motion for what was necessary.

Then he took the Twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem and everything written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles and he will be mocked and insulted and spat upon; and after they have scourged him they will kill him, but on the third day he will rise.”  But they understood nothing of this; the word remained hidden from them and they failed to comprehend what he said. Luke 18:31-34

What new action might you take that will break with your regular pattern of behavior?  Is there a new ministry in your parish that interests you?  Is there a neighbor you want to visit? Is there a new person you want to invite to your Group Reunion?  Is there a new parish where you would like to worship?  Your Fourth Day is the time to try out these new challenges.

In Mr. Karban’s commentary (linked above) he writes of a workshop assignment.  “I remember a workshop exercise in which we were asked to list 10 things we considered priorities in our lives. Then, on the other side of the paper, we were to write the date of the last time we actually did one of those things. It was a revelation. Thinking about something isn't close to doing something about it. Rarely do we live our priorities.”

What would your list of priorities and the dates look like?

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