By Jim Orcutt, Co-Founder of My Brother's Keeper

These personal reflections on the Monday gospel represent my insight of Christ’s message as viewed through the lens of my life experience. It is my hope that others will be inspired to reflect upon their views as well.
Date: September 11, 2017
September 11, 2017

Gospel LK 6:6-11

On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely
to see if he would cure on the sabbath
so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.
But he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”
And he rose and stood there.
Then Jesus said to them,
“I ask you, is it lawful to do good on the sabbath
rather than to do evil,
to save life rather than to destroy it?”
Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.
But they became enraged
and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.

Reflection:

“On a certain sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and taught,
and there was a man there whose right hand was withered.
The scribes and the Pharisees watched him closely to see if he would cure on the sabbath so that they might discover a reason to accuse him.”

It is tempting to read today’s gospel and find fault with the scribes and Pharisees in their anxiousness to find Jesus guilty of “breaking the rules.”

But I wonder, am I much different than them?

There are “unwritten rules” that often dictate my attitude and behavior; these rules tempt me to turn a blind eye to what it means for me to be a follower of Christ.

How about the unwritten rule of “Not in my neighborhood?”

Or, the unwritten rule of, “I’ll give him a few dollars when he’s standing on the corner holding a “Help Me” sign, but I don’t want him coming to my door.”

My father was a drinker and not a very religious man. I don’t have any memories of him ever speaking about God.

At age 13, I was walking to work with my dad at 5 am on a rainy morning.

We came across a drunk passed out in a doorway. Recognizing the man, dad stopped and shook him, saying, “Charlie, get up…the cops will be coming by.”

“….he realized their intentions
and said to the man with the withered hand,
“Come up and stand before us.”

Drunk, Charlie struggled to his feet. He had wet himself and was clearly a mess.

Dad said, “Come on, Charlie, come with us. We’ll get you something to eat.”

As we entered the little, greasy spoon restaurant, the waitress immediately set up a fuss,

“Why are you bringing him in here? He’s a mess.”

“Looking around at them all, he then said to him,
“Stretch out your hand.”
He did so and his hand was restored.”

Ignoring the waitress’s complaints, Dad ordered coffee and breakfast for the three of us.
When we left the restaurant, Dad slipped Charlie a few dollars and said, “Take care of yourself. Drop by my place tonight and you can sleep on the couch.”

As Charlie walked away, Dad put his hand on my shoulder and said, “Jimmy Boy, you see that man? He’s a human being.”


“…let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.”
1 John 3:18



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