Daily Reflection
October 29th, 1999
Maureen McCann Waldron
The Collaborative Ministry Office
Click here for a photo of and information on this writer.
Romans 9:1-5
Psalm 147
Luke 14:1-6

At this, they kept silent.

What an odd scene: Jesus having a Sabbath dinner with his biggest critics, the Pharisees.  Their main goal, as always, is to trap him into breaking some law, to find out what else he is doing wrong.  And so they seat Jesus, the compassionate healer, behind a man afflicted with dropsy. Will Jesus break the law and heal him, they wonder?  Will this be another chance to note an infraction of the rules by Jesus?

But Jesus doesnít play any games with them.  He is straightforward and asks them if is lawful to cure on the Sabbath.  ďAt this, they kept silent.Ē  The Pharisees didnít want to think about the other side of this question, the human side, the forgiving side. They knew only the law.

How did they react when he asked the question?  Perhaps they looked down at the table and shifted uncomfortably, suspecting deep inside that he was making a good point.  But he was a pain in the neck to them, always challenging their rules, authority and laws.  They kept silent even though they knew that he only wanted to heal this man.  After all, a rule was a rule.

Arenít there times when we also shift uncomfortably in our places as we refuse to meet Jesusí gaze?  Do we sometimes sit silently when faced with a difficult situation that is in conflict with the world around us?  ďWell, there must be a reason for a rule like that,Ē we can rationalize.  ďI just donít have time to get involved in working for the poor.  I donít know where to find out whatís going on in Central America.  Iím busy Ė how am I supposed to worry about domestic violence?  Am I supposed to risk my job pushing for more just hiring practices at my office?  Itís too hard to tell my kids that we're boycotting Nike when all of their friends wear them.Ē

And so we remain silent, complicit, in the face of Jesusí difficult questions and healing presence in our lives.  We squirm uncomfortably and turn away from him.

Thatís our mistake.  Right there in that moment, our discovery of our lack of strength and courage, our weakness and our need for a savior, thatís when Jesus is there for us with open arms, unlimited love and the strength and courage we need.

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