Jesus heals a severely crippled woman on the Sabbath and harshly rebukes and shames those who oppose Him. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by building the Virtue of Perseverance so he can be fortified by the Spirit to endure suffering and by pursuing the Virtue of Defense so he can be on constant guard against the relentless attacks of Satan. 

Liturgy

30th Week in Ordinary time – Monday – Lk 13:10-17

Commentary

After exhorting the crowd to repent before it is too late, Jesus reassures them God will give ample time to repent and be fruitful in love. Jesus now dominates Satan in a spectacular public miracle and confirms the sanctity of performing works of mercy on the Sabbath.

As was His practice, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath, when He sees a severely crippled woman. The woman was possessed by a demon (spirit of infirmary/bound by Satan) and was so severely crippled that she could not stand upright, a condition she had suffered for 18 years. Seeing her, Jesus said, “Woman, you are free from your infirmity”, an act of exorcism to remove the demon which had possessed her. He then laid His hands upon her, and she was instantaneously healed, an astounding renewal of her crooked spine and deformed and atrophied muscles. The woman, overwhelmed, praised God. 

The ruler of the synagogue attempts to rebuke Jesus, angrily asserting healing is forbidden on the Sabbath; astonishing in his ignorance, the ruler is blind to both the miracle he has witnessed, and that God Himself, the Creator of the Sabbath, is present in Jesus. Jesus forcefully rebukes and shames His adversaries, calling them “hypocrites”, a grave insult, and reveals their appalling and foolish hypocrisy: while they diligently care for their beasts who might thirst on the Sabbath, they would deny healing to one of their own sisters who has suffered for 18 years. The crowd, many of whom had witnessed the woman’s suffering over the years, rejoices at Jesus’ miraculous healing and her delivery from the Evil One. 

Be awed by Jesus Christ

Be awed by the heroic action of Jesus in the healing of the crippled woman: Divine Knowledge, Jesus confirms the supernatural reality of the existence of Satan, his demons and demonic possession; Divine King and Protector, Jesus takes action to protect the vulnerable crippled woman; Son of God, Jesus confronts and defeats Satan and his demons; with Divine Power, Jesus, with a touch of His hand, immediately corrects the woman’s severe long-term spinal and muscular deformity and removes her suffering; Divine Priest, Jesus Harshly Shames the evil ruler of the synagogue. 

Be fortified by the Spirit to persevere in suffering

Realize: Like the severely crippled woman, despite her 18-year disability, has sufficient faith and hope to persevere by attending synagogue, every Catholic man needs to persevere in faith, especially when he or someone he loves endures extreme physical suffering.

Believe: Reflect upon Perseverance in Suffering (CCC 164, 272, 385, 618, 1264, 1500-1502, 1521).

Pray: Almighty Father, help me build the Virtue of Perseverance (a part of Fortitude) so I can endure personal suffering by persevering in faith, and I can be persistent in joyfully caring for those who suffer with chronic illness and disability; Father, guide me to bring the ill to receive the Sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick 

Be on constant guard against Satan’s attacks

Realize: While demonic possession is scorned today or associated with dramatic supernatural violence (wild convulsions, vile blasphemous uttering), Jesus confirms in the healing of the crippled woman that demonic possession can be subtle and appear to be normal illness.

Believe: Reflect upon Satan and Demons (CCC 409, 421, 447, 539, 550, 566, 635-636, 1086, 1708, 2850-2854).

Pray: Jesus, Divine Protector, help me build the Virtue of Defense/Protection (a part of Justice) so I am always on guard against the subtle attacks of Satan, and I urgently seek the help of a priest if I suspect serious attacks by Satan upon me or those I love.