He took the man and . . . healed him. 

The man whom Jesus healed had dropsy. Nowadays, the word “edema” is used, but both words refer to a buildup of fluid in the body that causes limbs to swell, joints to stiffen, and movement to be hampered. The Pharisees who witnessed this miracle would have known Jesus’ view of healing on the Sabbath because the question had already been asked and answered, to their humiliation (Luke 13:10-17). They weren’t likely to welcome such a healing the second time around. But still, Jesus was offering them an invitation—this time to seek their own healing.

It’s an invitation for all of us: to be healed of spiritual bloat and stiffness so that we can deepen our relationship with the Lord. It’s easy to settle into a fixed, familiar understanding of who God is and what he wants. But more than anything, what he wants is an intimate and fluid relationship with us, one that moves and grows and matures daily. So Jesus wants to heal anything that hampers our movement toward him and with him.

Today, Jesus is inviting you to consider your spiritual health. If you ask him, the Holy Spirit will show you where he wants to reduce swelling or stiffness in your spiritual life. Perhaps a hint of “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity” has begun to swell your self-image (Luke 18:11). Or maybe satisfaction with a hurried reading of Scripture or a rote recitation of prayers at Mass are stiffening your walk with the Lord. You don’t have to live this way! Jot down that area of “spiritual dropsy” and tell Jesus, “I want to move freely with you.”

The Lord’s invitation to seek healing isn’t reserved for particular days or particular people. It’s for all his children, for every day. It’s for you. The Pharisees kept silent in answer to Jesus’ invitation (Luke 14:4). You have the opportunity to say yes. Let your response today be a joyful, grateful prayer to the one who heals you and invites you to walk more freely with him.

“Jesus, thank you for inviting me to know you more. Heal me of anything that hinders my walk with you.”

Romans 9:1-5
Psalm 147:12-15, 19-20
Luke 14:1-6


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