The Gospel Today
Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.
Reflection (Sem. Jesus S. Salamanca Jr.)
It was a Sabbath day and Jesus was teaching in the synagogue. After His preaching, Jesus cured the crippled woman who was present in that same place by laying His hand on her. I want to reflect on the woman here.
I admire that woman because in spite of her situation, she was still there in the synagogue during the Day of the Lord. She had suffered for eighteen years due to her illness which was brought about by a spirit. I would say that the life of that woman was miserable, so miserable that she could not find any help from anything but only in the Lord.
My six months of stay here in seminary were not easy. There were many things to be done. Personally, I experienced difficulties in almost all aspects of the formation – community living, academics, spirituality and apostolate. I struggled because those things were not the things I used to do. It was almost an everyday struggle to combat my own resistance and issues so I could submit myself totally to the process of formation.
But although struggling, I am still here. I survived the first semester of formation. It’s all because of the love and grace of God. At times, I wonder, how could I have it? Well, I would say that like the woman in the Gospel today, I learned how to offer my sufferings and struggles to the Lord, because I know that it is only He who can help us. God did not help me in obvious ways but He sent His lavish grace through the members of the community – the formators, the seminarians and the staff.
I know that I just started my journey in seminary formation. I know that there will be times when I will experience the same or even worse difficulties. Although now when they come, I know now how to deal with it. These challenges will come with a purpose. There is wisdom in everything.
Next semester is again an invitation for me to journey with the Lord and with the community. This semester is my first. It will be remembered forever. This semester, God had showed me His compassionate love and mercy, as He did to the crippled woman.