On one occasion when Jesus was going to the house of a leader of the Pharisees to eat a meal on the sabbath, they were watching him closely. Just then, in front of him, there was a man who had dropsy. And Jesus asked the lawyers and Pharisees, “Is it lawful to cure people on the sabbath, or not?” But they were silent. So Jesus took him and healed him, and sent him away. Then he said to them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that has fallen into a well, will you not immediately pull it out on a sabbath day?” And they could not reply to this.
“Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” While few of us will face that question today, I may in fact experience the challenge of putting my values on the line in some practical way. Jesus’ response to the Pharisees invites me to wrestle with the realities of practical charity as I move from theory to positive action in my service of someone else. In doing so, I may well risk misunderstanding or even failure.
Today we honor St. Martin de Porres, the illegitimate son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave from Panama. He entered the Dominican order as a lay brother, and served others as a barber, infirmarian, and farm-laborer. Throughout his years of quiet ministry he had special care for the poor and those who were sick. My life today may not be as dramatic as Martin’s, yet his example can kindle my own quiet outreach to others. What might this outgoing attitude look like for me throughout the coming weekend?
—The Jesuit prayer team from the Jesuit Community at St. Camillus in Wauwatosa, WI.
Saint Martin de Porres, apostle of charity and friend of the poor, I bring you the needs of our world, the cares of my family and friends. Show people of every race and background the path to greater justice and stronger unity. Help me to stand for what is right, to work for what is just, and to share God’s love wherever I go, in whatever I do. Amen.
—The Jesuit prayer team from St. Camillus
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