Prayer: Lord, I believe in you with a faith that never seeks to test you. I trust in you,
hoping to learn to accept and follow your will, even when it does not make sense to the way that I
see things. May my love for you and those around me be similar to the love you have shown to
me.Lord, help me to pay special attention to you in my prayer today. You know how much I need your
grace in order to do your will. You know it will be impossible for me to follow you faithfully today
if I fail to pray well. Inspire me and grant me the grace of fidelity in this meditation.
Lord, protect me from spiritual old age. Help me to reject building comfort zones that
narrow my horizons and exclude you.
1. Jesus Is Showing
his Messiah Credentials Again: Jesus’ opponents were desperate. They didn’t want to
believe that he was the Messiah, and they especially didn’t want anyone else to think he was the
Messiah. But there was the pesky problem of his miracles. They knew that when God sent someone to
speak for him, he usually performed signs through the person so that people would believe in him.
The sign was proof that the person (Jesus in this case) was sent by God. Jesus was doing plenty of
miracles, which most people sensibly were taking as the sign that he was sent by God. What could
Jesus’ opponents do? They could only try to discredit the miracles any way possible.
2. You Can Do a Lot
More than You Think on the Sabbath: This miracle was done on the Sabbath. The head of
the synagogue had a problem with that. Didn’t God himself rest on the sixth day? Oughtn’t we to do
the same? How does this Jesus heal on the Sabbath if he is truly from God? In fact, there were many
exceptions to the rules about the Sabbath. In another place, Jesus himself says that the Sabbath is
made for man, not man for the Sabbath (Mark 2:27). Certainly, the observance of the Sabbath was
always subject to the practice of charity, that it was always permissible to break the Sabbath rest
in the case when needed to do some necessary act of charity for another. Jesus mentions situations
when for practical reasons (necessary farm chores, like watering animals) work can be done without
breaking the Sabbath rest.
3. Lord, Please Let me Keep my Mediocrity: And so, there is really nothing
to the objection. The head of the synagogue does not want to believe because what Jesus says and
does seems threatening to him. If Jesus is the Messiah, he foresees having to change his life, and
he does not want to do that. He may not even realize that this is his real objection, but it is. We
can be this way, too. We don’t want to accept something Jesus teaches us through his Church because
it would mean that we have to change our lives, and we don’t want to. We are comfortable the way we
are. If we had to do what Jesus asks, it would take us out of our comfort zone. Sometimes it is mere
fear of something different. Jesus always is offering us something different, but we don’t want it.
We want to stay in our rut. We have surrounded ourselves with limited horizons and are afraid to
Conversation with Christ: Dear Jesus, help me to accept you fully. If I am
rejecting you or your teaching without realizing it, show me. Help me to overcome my attempt to
construct my own little universe in which I am God. If I have grown old spiritually, renew my youth,
since youth is always seeking new horizons, not trying to shut itself in to, cutting down theand
help me break through my restricted, shrunken horizons that exclude you.
Resolution: Where in my life have I settled into spiritual routine and old
age? Do I habitually skip some prayer I should be saying, telling myself it isn’t that important? I
will make an extra effort to pray it today. Is there some other aspect of my spiritual or moral life
that I have removed to make life “more comfortable” for me? Time to start doing it again!