Seen and Touched

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
(Luke 13:10-17)

Scripture Study

13:11 had been crippled by a spirit The woman’s distorted posture appears to be the result of demonic activity, as opposed to a defect suffered from birth.

13:14 Come on those days to be cured The people were coming to Jesus for healing without regard for the day. Jesus was not bothered by this; indeed, His actions encouraged it. The religious leaders saw His healings as a violation of God’s command to honor the Sabbath by refraining from work.

13:15 untie his ox or his ass Jesus calls attention to the religious leaders’ willingness to make exceptions to the law to care for animals but not to care for God’s people.

13:16 This daughter of Abraham Identifies the woman as a Jew.

Scripture Reflection

He laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God” Luke 13:13.

One of the interesting thing about many of the stories Jesus tells is the anonymity of the person being healed. In today’s story of the woman being healed on the Sabbath, we only know that Jesus “laid his hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.” From what we can infer, this woman was known but unknown; present yet invisible to others until Jesus recognized her.

Have you ever felt totally alone in a crowded space, walking around yet seemingly invisible to others? Our human nature is very sensory in its origin and this creates a desire in all of us to be seen and touched just as this woman was.

How open are we to being touched by Jesus in our daily lives? One way to prepare ourselves for this wonderful intimacy is to come before the Lord in prayer, and in silence, open our hearts to Him and say, “See me Lord, touch me and know me.” Are you ready?

– Adapted from Mary Marrocco’s posting in Living Faith

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.