Wednesday, January 23, 2019
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Saint Vincent, Deacon and Martyr – Optional Memorial
(Celebrated January 23 in the USA)
They watched Jesus closely to see if he would cure him on the sabbath so that they might accuse him. Mark 3:2
It didn’t take long for the Pharisees to allow envy to cloud their thinking about Jesus. The Pharisees wanted all the attention. They wanted to be looked up to and honored as the authentic teachers of the law. So when Jesus showed up, and many were astounded by the authority with which He taught, the Pharisees immediately began to criticize Him.
The sad reality we witness in their actions is that they appear to be blind to their own malice. The envy that fills them keeps them from realizing that they are actually acting with extreme irrationality. This is an important and very difficult lesson to learn.
Sin confuses us, especially spiritual sin such as pride, envy and anger. Therefore, when someone becomes consumed with one of these sins, that person most likely does not even realize how irrational he becomes. Take the example of the Pharisees.
Jesus is put in a situation where He chooses to heal someone on the Sabbath. This is an act of mercy. It is done out of love for this man to relieve him of his suffering. Though this is an incredible miracle, the disturbed minds of the Pharisees look only for a way to twist this act of mercy into something sinful. What an appalling scene.
Though this may not at first be that inspiring of a thought upon which to reflect, it’s necessary to reflect on it. Why? Because we all struggle, to one extent or another, with sins like this. We all struggle with letting envy and anger sneak in and distort the way we relate to others. Then, too often we justify our actions just as the Pharisees did.
Reflect, today, upon this most unfortunate scene. But reflect upon it with the hope that the poor example of the Pharisees will help you to identify any of the same tendencies in your own heart. Seeing these tendencies they struggle with should help free you from falling into the irrational thinking that comes as a result of sin.
Lord Jesus, please do forgive me for all my sins. I am sorry and I pray that I will be able to see all that clouds my thinking and acting. Free me and help me to love You and others with the pure love I am called to have. Jesus, I trust in You.