As I reflected on today’s readings, I heard several messages and invitations. The first invitation I heard was to be attentive to how I am crippled, bent over and/or burdened. What is keeping me from standing erect? This could certainly be the work of Satan but I tend to look a little closer to home. What attitudes am I currently holding that are not life giving? What assumptions am I buying into that may not be true? Whose opinions am I accepting as right but may not be? What things, culturally, have grabbed my attention but feel heavy? Reflecting on questions like these brought me to another question for reflection, maybe even a more important question. How I am crippling others with assumptions, judgments and attitudes?
I think it is clear from the Gospel reading today that Jesus is implying that the leader of the synagogue was doing just that. With his attitude of indignation, judgment and “letter of the law truth” he was crippling those he claimed to be leading. He was preventing them from seeing Jesus as the Light and consequently impeding their journeys to live as children of the Light.
Children of the Light are “kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another . . . .” Children of the Light “live in love.” When we are not living in love, it is important to take a step back and ask the questions in prayer, “How am I burdened?” “How am I burdening others?” Then, when we have recognized our role in our own and others crippling, we need to pray for Christ’s healing touch and mercy for ourselves and our world.