Wednesday January 18, 2023

Good News Reflections:
Making scripture meaningful to your daily life
by Terry Modica

“Helping others is an act of preserving life; ignoring a person’s suffering is destructive and evil.”

Good News Reflection for:

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
January 18, 2023

Today’s Prayer:

Lord: Do not let my prejudices prevent me from doing good to others. May my mind and my heart always be alert to serve. Amen.

SaintsSubscribe to Today’s Saint Quote & Prayer:

Today’s Readings:

Hebrews 7:1-3, 15-17
Psalm 110:1-4
Mark 3:1-6
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:

The evil of ignoring others’ needs

[ Listen to the podcast of this reflection ]

In today’s Gospel story, Jesus walks into a synagogue that’s full of men who are anticipating a lively discussion on the day’s scriptures. One of them, a man with a withered hand, sees Jesus and realizes that he’s the miracle worker he’s heard so much about. But today is the Sabbath, and according to the rules, no one can do any work of any sort. He doesn’t dare ask Jesus for a healing — especially in front of the legalistic Pharisees.

Do you ever stop short of asking for something that’s good and right because you think you’re not supposed to?

Jesus has noticed the man who needs a healing. He has also noted that the Pharisees are practically drooling for an opportunity to condemn him. Perhaps if they weren’t making such a big deal of it, he might wait until later for a more private moment to heal the poor fellow who’s sitting nervously but quietly in the crowd.

Have you felt the condescending attitude of someone who’s looking to find fault with you? Did you wish an advocate would come to your aid and defend you?

Jesus realizes that this is a good opportunity for a teaching. The Pharisees aren’t open to learning, but there are plenty of others here who are. Jesus faces a decision: He could either let the Pharisees teach by their attitude that it’s okay to ignore the needs of people who are hurting, or he could teach by his actions that moral law is higher than religious law, and that caring for someone is morally right and that ignoring a need is morally wrong.

Did you ever witness an attitude in religious circles that was hurtful? Did you wish you had the courage to speak up against it?

Jesus calls to the man: “Stand up here in front!” No one’s going to miss this. The room quiets. Jesus has everyone’s attention. The Pharisees move in closer, their eyebrows raised authoritatively. Jesus turns to them and says, “Is it lawful to do a good deed on the Sabbath — or an evil one? To preserve life — or to destroy it?”

We know that anything that destroys life is evil (war, pollution, abortion, smoking, driving while intoxicated, and everything else that endangers life). But less obvious is the evil of inaction. God’s law — the Law of Love — requires us to take action when we recognize the needs of others and we have the ability to do something about it. Helping others is an act of preserving life; ignoring a person’s suffering is destructive and evil.

What are you doing that contributes to the preservation and improvement of life? Will you dare to care like Jesus?

For more on this, use our WordByte called: “Social Justice – The calling of Every Christian” @

© 2023 by Terry A. Modica

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