30TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.
A woman racked by arthritic pain struggled to get dressed and out the door on time for her prayer group at church. The pain was nothing new—she had endured it for many years—so she was determined to go. When she got to the gathering, she was deeply moved by the Scripture passages that people shared. As she listened, she felt a burning sensation in her arms and legs that quickly subsided. She was amazed to realize her pain was completely gone!
In today’s Gospel (Luke 13:10-17), we meet someone similar: a woman who had spent the past eighteen years unable to stand up straight. We can imagine how hard even the simplest of tasks was for her. It likely took her a long time to get ready, but she was determined to go to the synagogue. She wanted to hear God’s word and the rabbi’s teaching. Little did she know what that day would bring. All she did was show up, and Jesus restored her health and changed her life. How surprising, then, that the synagogue leader objected to the woman being healed on the Sabbath!
It seems absurd that anyone would want to limit God’s power to certain days of the week. Yet there may be subtle ways that we put limitations on how and when God might heal us. Perhaps you look only for physical healing when the Lord wants to heal your emotions. Maybe you think that some things are too hard for even him to heal, or that you can be healed only if you follow particular steps. You may even think that God doesn’t heal today, or that you don’t deserve to be healed.
Regardless of your objections, Jesus wants to touch you and give you freedom. He just asks you to keep showing up, to keep coming before him in prayer and trust. As you do, you can make yourself available to whatever Jesus wants to do in you. He knows the healing you need. It may be a physical healing; it may be an easing of worry or calming of your emotions. It may be an increased closeness to him. Or it may be all of the above! Just remember the two women. They didn’t come specifically asking for healing. They just showed up.
And so did the Lord.
“Here I am, Lord. I trust you to give me what you know I need.”
Psalm 68:2, 4, 6-7, 20-21