10 On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12
When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, “Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.” 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.
14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leadersaid to the people, “There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?”
17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.
Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
The Gospel reading today recalls Jesus healing a woman who suffered from an infirmity for a lengthy time. At the word of command the woman is healed, and stands erect for the first time in eighteen years. Yet, this marvellous work of Jesus was the object not of praise and wonder but of criticism and indignation. The chief of the synagogue declared to the congregation that Jesus had broken Jewish law by healing the woman on the Sabbath, which was understood to be a day of rest in the most literal sense.
Jesus countered this accusation by explaining that if, out of necessity, a straying oxen would be sought out on the Sabbath or beasts given food and drink, then how much more righteous was it to restore to health a child of Abraham. Hearing this, the opponents of Jesus were filled with confusion and His followers rejoiced.
We, too, as followers of Jesus, can rejoice with His disciples at the marvellous deed performed on this occasion. We can see the hypocrisy of the synagogue chiefs attitude. Yet, we can also be guilty of the same type of hypocrisy and self-righteousness when we find ourselves lacking in the humility to admit when we are wrong, or that the viewpoint of another might have more merit than our own. May this Gospel lesson enlighten our minds and hearts to always be open to true humility, which both admits mistakes and acknowledges the good in others