Memory of the Saints and the Prophets

Ossza Meg

Prayer for unity of Christians. Particular memory of the ancient Churches of the East (Syrian Orthodox, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Syro-Malabar) and the Assyrian Church


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You are a chosen race,
a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
a people acquired by God
to proclaim his marvellous works.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 3,1-6

Another time he went into the synagogue, and there was a man present whose hand was withered. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the Sabbath day, hoping for something to charge him with. He said to the man with the withered hand, 'Get up and stand in the middle!' Then he said to them, 'Is it permitted on the Sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?' But they said nothing. Then he looked angrily round at them, grieved to find them so obstinate, and said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' He stretched it out and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and began at once to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

You will be holy,
because I am holy, thus says the Lord.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

It is Saturday, and Jesus, as his custom was, went to the synagogue for prayer. There, he met a man with a serious handicap to his arm. The apocryphal gospel according to the Hebrews, puts on the lips of the man the following prayer: "I was a mason, I earned my living by the labour of my hands; O Jesus, I pray you to heal me so that I do not have to beg shamefully for my bread.". As soon as Jesus saw this man wounded in the hand, he was moved. This always happened to him whenever he encountered the sick and the weak. The Pharisees, on the opposite, who were not at all interested in the man's impairment, sensed that something would happen. Jesus never remains still in front of the pain of the people. Jesus knew well he must fulfil the will of the Father and so he turned to the man and ordered him: "Stretch out your hand!" The man obeyed the word of Jesus and extended his hand. He was healed. Obedience to the Gospel always leads to healing; it makes us regain what we have lost because of sin or our frailty. After all, Jesus came so that every human being may be no longer a slave of evil, but may share in the new horizon of God that is the fullness of life. That man was healed and able to return to ordinary life. Healing does not occur so that people remain prisoners of themselves - the meaning of the "withered" hand is also a hand used only to help themselves - but healing this hand is done so that it may be at the service of others, for the common good of all. The hand is healed, in fact, "to give a hand" - as we say - to those in need. This is why Jesus did not violate the Sabbath, as the Pharisees accused him. With this healing, the true "Sabbath" (i.e., the day of God) enters into the life of men and women: creation reaches its fulfilment in that man. Whenever the mercy and salvation of God touch the lives of human beings, the "Sabbath" of God is fulfilled: the feast of love and fullness of life.