Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
(Ephesians 5:4:32-5:8; Luke 13:10-17)
A leading theologian takes to task the traditional condemnation of “works-righteousness.” He writes that St. Paul only rejected the notion that that one might be seen as “righteous” by only adhering to the Law. Paul means that people not should think of themselves as saved because they keep a kosher diet and refrain from activity on the Sabbath as the synagogue official insists in today’s gospel. Rather the theologian cites texts where Paul teaches that people will be judged by their deeds.
Few people in the gospels draw more pity than the poor woman bent over for eighteen years. Obviously she is in continual pain and will have difficulty talking to others. Jesus cures her on sight. Then he answers the criticism of the leader of the synagogue who judges him a sinner for healing on the Sabbath. Jesus says in effect that it is always time for acts of mercy.
We must not let a false interpretation of justification by faith or any lame excuse keep us from performing works of mercy. When we act mercifully, we imitate God Himself. We show ourselves to be His children with a destiny that is beyond our imagination to appreciate.