Willing to Bear Their Burdens

On a sabbath Jesus went to dine
at the home of one of the leading Pharisees,
and the people there were observing him carefully.
In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.
Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking,
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”
But they kept silent; so he took the man and,
after he had healed him, dismissed him.
Then he said to them
“Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern,
would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?”
But they were unable to answer his question.
(Luke 14:1-5)

Scripture Study

14:1 one of the leading Pharisees Jesus’ third meal with a Pharisee in Luke’s Gospel (compare 7:36; 11:37). they were observing him Others at the dinner were looking for a way to publicly discredit Jesus.

14:2 suffering from dropsy Refers to a condition in which fluid accumulation in connective tissues or bodily cavities causes swelling and inhibits circulation.

14:3 lawful to heal on the Sabbath Jesus previously healed at least two people on the Sabbath: a man with a withered hand (Luke 6:6–11) and a disabled woman (13:10–17).

14:5 son or your ox falls into a cistern Jesus’ point is that the religious leaders will work to save that which is important to them, so He too should work in order to restore a life (compare 13:15).

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel Pharisees and other religious leaders look on with silent disdain as Jesus heals a man. He challenged them by asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?”

Some religious leaders get their kicks from burdening people, laying the law on them heavily, making demands that are terrible, exulting in their own moral superiority. At the core of Jesus’ program is a willingness to bear other people’s burdens, to help them carry their loads. And this applies to the moral life as well. If we lay the burden of God’s law on people, we must be willing, at the same time, to help them bear it.

When were you cured by Christ and how? What was it like to receive, through the Church, his healing touch? When did you feel ostracized, despised, unworthy—and how did Christ, through his Church, restore you to health and communion? Remember that moment and share it.

– Bishop Robert Barron

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