Gospel Reflection

Pentecost 11

21 August, 2022

“Any time you can get a little bit of rest it helps.” – Jonathan Cheechoo

 In one sense Jesus is breaking the Sabbath.  In another sense, the sagacity of common sense, Jesus is fulfilling the commands of Sabbath rest.  One sunny Saturday Jesus heals a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years.  She never asked to be healed.  Jesus simply noticed that she needed a rest.  The “hypocrites” (Jesus’ word, Luke 13:15) accused him of breaking the Sabbath which prohibited work.  But the essence of Sabbath is not in what it forbids, but in what it requires.  It requires rest.  Who needs a rest here?  The woman had been bent over for eighteen years.  She was ground down by life, weary and washed out.  Jesus gave her a rest.  He gave her Sabbath.  She had served her time.  Now her Sabbath time had come.  Now, not tomorrow, as the hypocrites suggested.  To use a colloquialism, Jesus was saying to the complainers “give it a rest.”  How about us?  What needs a rest in our lives?  What cripples us so that we are not who we are meant to be?  The woman was bent over.  We may stoop from osteoporosis or from depression and a broken spirit.  Or more ethically speaking, who are we crippling?  Do we hold back anyone else’s potential?  Give it a rest.  Now is the time for Sabbath.  Stop what we are doing right now.  Rest.

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