In the Luke's Gospel we hear the moving story of Jesus meeting a woman who had a debilitating illness. For 18 years she was bent over, incapable of standing erect. Jesus saw her and simply said, “Woman you are set free of your infirmity.” He laid his hands on her and she immediately stood up and gave glory to God.
There were people who witnessed this and instead of rejoicing with the women and praising Jesus, found reasons to rebuke Jesus. In their minds they believed themselves to be doing the right thing. Jesus had violated their religious beliefs.
The Scriptures today present us with an instance of what can be seen as the right thing and at the same time present us with a contrast that is not only the right thing but for some more appealing. We heard a brief selection from St. Paul’s letter to the people of Ephesus. He urged them to be kind to one another, compassionate and forgiving as God has forgiven us in Christ. He then urged them to be imitators of Christ detailing a suggested list of behaviors that dealt primarily with morality, but more needs to be said about becoming imitators of Christ.
Christians today have had many opportunities through our reading of the Gospels and the New Testament letters, to learn and assess what it means to be an imitator of Christ. In a word, even though Jesus has no favorites He did evidence a unique concern for the poor, the widow, the marginalized. It was in evidenced today when He came upon the women who was crippled for 18 years.
In Sunday's Gospel we heard Jesus’s comment about the two men offering prayers in the temple, one whose prayers were directed to himself and the other who beat his chest, bowed his head, and declared, “Have mercy on me I am a sinner.” As Jesus noted it was the tax collector who went away exalted because he humbled himself.
St. Paul today told us to be imitators of Christ. St. Paul offered us some thoughts about how this can be done. In fairness to him, we heard only a brief list of things he believed were significant for our efforts to be imitators of Christ. In his mind they are the right things. For others, Jesus’s concern with mercy and outreach to those in need are also seen as the right thing and for some more appealing for becoming imitators of Christ. They would be inclined to identify with the crowd in the gospel today who rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by Christ.
To view Rosary prayer and Mass streaming live, please visit our Facebook pageat 11:30 am EDT, Monday – Friday. Please invite your loved ones to join us too! (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
About Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C.
Father Leo Polselli, C.S.C. is Chaplain at the Father Peyton Center in Easton, MA. Before coming to Holy Cross Family Ministries he served as a teacher and a parish priest. He also served for six years as a General Assistant of the Congregation in Rome, Italy. Originally from Fall River, MA, Father Leo grew up with eight siblings. Gifted with several languages, he is able to serve the Brazilian, Cape Verdean, Portuguese, Spanish and Haitian communities. When he's not greeting everyone who comes to the Father Peyton Center, you can find him regularly reading newspapers!