Monday, October 30, 2006

top priority

Today's Gospel tells about a spontaneous healing miracle that took place on a Sabbath day. Usually, Jesus held out for some sort of manifestation of faith--and not just any faith, but the kind that moves mountains. But in this case, he simply turned his attention toward a poor woman who had been crippled for eighteen years and told her, "Daughter, you are free of your infirmity."
Then the local official scolded the crowds for seeking healing on the Lord's day and told them to come back during the work week.
This reveals several things:
The woman didn't just "happen" to be there: she came for a healing. In other words, she had the faith that moves mountains, even if she didn't verbally say, "Lord, I believe."
Jesus seems to have been deliberately provocative, working this miracle on the Sabbath when all "work" is forbidden. And after the official's reproof, he gives a bit of a homily, explaining that just as every one of them fed and watered the farm animals on the Sabbath, to preserve their life and health, there was no reason to deny life and health to human beings in their suffering.
Jesus makes it clear that God's priority is people. "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath," as he said in another place.
With Dad's situation, all of us have been trying to pray with faith, but as I told Jesus today, he had better give us the faith he wants to find in our prayers. More than that, I am praying that he grant us to discern and receive what he desires to give. He shows in today's Gospel that his top priority is.. us.

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