Monday, September 10, 2007

Today's Gospel is another confrontation scene over Jesus' inappropriate working of miracles. This time, it is a set-up with a pitiful man whose right hand is weak and probably paralyzed. The Gospel says it is "dried up"; "withered." There may be more to this than meets the reader's eye. The Psalmist, mourning in exile far from the Holy City, declares before God, "If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand wither!" And here, in Jesus' sight, is a man to whom this very thing has happened. Is it a hint that the Pharisees and other guardians of devotion have "forgotten Jerusalem," the "Lord's footstool", the "place where God's glory dwells"? (As it would later be said, "The Glory of God is man fully alive"--and what Jesus did in today's miracle of healing is bring that man back to life, restoring the Glory of God.)

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