Monday of the Twenty-third Week in Ordinary Time
(Colossians 2:24-2:3; Luke 6:6-11)
When I was told that my distant cousins had a baby using in vitro fertilization, I was disappointed. I wondered if they knew of the Church teaching condemning the practice. Nevertheless, I went to their home for a visit. Seeing their baby girl, how could I help but bless her? This is the kind of reception that the scribes and Pharisees lack in today’s gospel.
The scribes and Pharisees become enraged when Jesus heals a fellow child of Abraham of his debilitating defect. Where they should have at least some elation for the person who now has two hands to work, they only feel rancor for Jesus. Theirs may be a legitimate way of interpreting the commandment not to work on the Sabbath, but it is hardly a definitive judgment. No matter, they still lack the love of God in their hearts.
The Church has judged negatively some scientific breakthroughs that society acclaims. It does so not because the Church is opposed to science but because often these advances are made to the detriment of other human beings. Using human embryos for scientific experimentation is but one example. It means the annihilation of a human life. Yes, we hope to see cures for systemic bodily defects. But we must insist that the cost of such advances not include the loss of human life or dignity.