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Homilies :: Latin Rite
Monday of the 23rd week in Ordinary Time Download This Homily

September 9, 2019

Monday of the 23rd week in Ordinary Time

 

Gal:1: 24—2:3

Psalm 62:6-7, 9

Lk 6:6-11

 

Gospel Reading

 

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the Sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him. But he realized their intentions and said to the man with the withered hand, "Come up and stand before us." And he rose and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?" Looking around at them all, he then said to him, "Stretch out your hand." He did so and his hand was restored. But they became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

 

Reflection

 

Prejudice Prevents One from Accepting Truth

 

Dr. B.R Ambedkar in one of the volumes of his Unpublished Writings and Speeches mentions an interesting incident about a dalit youth. One day the young man was going from his village to another village for work. On the way he saw people gathered around a well in a nearby village. He went near the well to know what happened. People around the well told him that a calf fell into the well and there was no one to save it. The young man without hesitating even for minute jumped into the well. The villagers let down a basket with a rope into the well. Thus the young man saved the calf.


When he came out of the well people thanked him and wanted to know about his details. When he told them his name and background people of the village came to know that he was a dalit. They became furious and accused him of polluting the well. The young man had to run away from the village in order escape the fury of the villagers. The people who accused the young man of polluting the well did not have the brain to think that if he did not save the calf, it would have died in the well and water would have been really polluted and it would not have been drinkable. This is an example for how caste prejudice makes people blind to the reality and truth.


In today’s Gospel we have more or less the same situation. Jesus healed a man whose right hand was paralyzed on a Sabbath day. Seeing the incident the Pharisees were filled with rage and discussed among themselves how to finish him off, because the healing on the Sabbath day was a serious violation of Sabbath according to them.  Jesus knew that the Pharisees would accuse him of violating Sabbath if he healed the man. But he did it to send a strong message to them that their interpretation of the law on Sabbath was inhuman and oppressive and his mission included liberating people from such bondages. He knew that the Pharisees were prejudiced against him and could not see the enormous joy that a person gets when he/she is healed of disease.


We read in the Gospels Jesus resorting to such social interventions. Cleansing the temple of the traders and money changers was one such act. There could be oppressive traditions and customs prevalent in the societies even today. Practice of untouchability is still prevalent in some parts of our country. The Khap panchayats among the Jhats prohibit marriage within the Gotra (Tribe), even though there is no blood relationship and anybody who dares to break this custom and marry a person of his choice from the same Gotra have to face death.


The disciples of Jesus cannot and should not tolerate any law, custom or tradition that is oppressive and discriminatory in nature. Anything that is oppressive and discriminatory goes against the liberative mission of Jesus. Similarly they should be liberated form prejudice if they have to be effective in their mission.

 

Fr. Jacob Peenikaprambil CMI


Homilies Navchetana Apps, the first of its kind is produced and published by Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India to assist the clergy to preach the World of God and also as a handy spiritual resource for the people of God to reflect on the daily spiritual passages at their convenience. You can download this on your Android phone from Google play and you can see the Gospel reflections of the whole year. The size of this app is just 2.5 MB. We welcome your suggestions and contributions to server you better.

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Homilies Navchetana is an initiative of Navchetana Communications, Bhopal, India. We have been sending the Sunday and daily homilies last four years. We are grateful to you for your cooperation and encouraging comments. Navchetana is committed to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ through modern media and performing arts. Through our Web TV, audio and video productions and stage programmes we take the Gospel message to the ends of the earth. Make a donation and be a part of this noble mission.


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