Memory of the Poor

Berbagi Di


Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Luke 13,10-17

One Sabbath day he was teaching in one of the synagogues, and there before him was a woman who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that crippled her; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, 'Woman, you are freed from your disability,' and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God. But the president of the synagogue was indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, and he addressed all those present saying, 'There are six days when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the Sabbath.' But the Lord answered him and said, 'Hypocrites! Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the Sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years -- was it not right to untie this bond on the Sabbath day?' When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.

 

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Gospel presents us with Jesus who is teaching on a Saturday, as he usually did, in a synagogue. Among those present there was a woman who has been hunched over and deformed by arthritis. She had been living in this very painful condition for eighteen years, and she was bent so low that she could not look people in the face. In return, no one lowered to look at her in the face. And how many women are represented in her! Not only, obviously, those who are oppressed in their families, at home. In this woman we see a very large world of women bent under the burden of male chauvinism, injustice, violence and humiliation. The woman - together with all the others who even today live in her same condition - is standing there, in front of Jesus. She cannot lift her gaze and she does not even dare to ask him for help as other women had. But Jesus, upon seeing her, is moved and calls her to come near. Without saying too many words, he immediately says to her: "Woman, you are freed of your affliction" and lays his hands on her. The evangelist notes: "Immediately she stood up straight and began praising God." It is a small scene enclosed in four lines. And yet, the gesture of Jesus, who stooped over this woman, makes us understand what our way of looking upon and becoming close to the weak, the sick and those who are alone should be. The Gospel passage teaches us that the disciples have received Jesus' very strength as a gift. The words said from the heart, with Jesus' own compassion, are effective, they make one get up from being bent over oneself and have the dignity of standing up as everyone else, as it happened to the woman. But those who saw the scene did not let themselves be touched in the heart by what they had seen. They judged rather than rejoicing for that woman who had found her dignity back. The head of the synagogue even took offense over the miracle. If the heart is full of oneself and one's own convictions, not even miracles are able to scratch its hardness. Jesus replies to the accusations of the head of the synagogue with the large mercy that frees from the slavery of Satan, as Jesus calls the prince of evil. If the Pharisees, who are hard-hearted, are scandalized, the people, on the other hand, were celebrating: "The entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing." Blessed are the disciples who let themselves be wrapped up in the mystery of the Lord's mercy because they will rejoice like the crowd in the synagogue.