First Reading: Heb 7:1-3.15-17; Psalm: 110 R. v. 4cd; Gospel: Mk 3:1-6
FOCUSING ON GOOD WORKS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
We see again in today’s gospel the scheme of the Pharisees. A man with a withered hand was in the synagogue as Jesus entered. The Pharisees watched Jesus closely to see whether he would heal this man on a Sabbath so as to accuse him. This time around, it was no longer about rightness or wrong; it was about wickedness of heart. It was no longer about breaking the Sabbath or not as was the case in their previous encounter with Jesus by the grain fields. It was now about the evil intent of wanting to destroy Jesus. Most times people do not only frown at our good works; they just hate the fact that it is coming from us.
Jesus was clearly upset that the Pharisees chose to remain incorrigible. At his encounter with them by the grain fields, he already taught them that the good of man was greater that the Sabbath rule. But obviously these men were unyielding. If they were open to the message of Jesus, they would have reacted differently to the healing of this man rather than progressing to another level of evil. When we do not allow the gospel to enlighten us, we would grow in ignorance and sin. Clearly, the Pharisees did not just frown at the good works of Jesus; they hated the fact that those good works came from Jesus.
There are gifts we wished we had but do not have them. And there are things we wished we could do but do not have all it takes to do them. Sometimes there is that speck of jealousy in us when we see people do what we wished or desired to do but cannot do them because we are limited. But maybe if we focused on the good works and not the person, perhaps our ill feelings may change. Jealousy and many other evil intentions begin to take root in us when we turn our eyes away from the goodness of an action and begin to focus on the doer of the good action. When we do this, we can be tempted to nurture ill feelings. And if not controlled, can lead to a greater evil.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us grow in love for the good things that will edify one another. Amen.