Our gospel for today narrates one of the events in the healing ministry of our Lord Jesus. On this occasion, Jesus intentionally went against the established Sabbath norms in his time, to show everyone the primacy of love and compassion over any established man-made practices or laws.

Although the story related in today’s Gospel is familiar to many of us, perhaps the impact it gives to us this year may be different. Let us try to recall some incidents in this last year where we faced similar circumstances. Have we encountered times that we have grieved at our own or other’s hardness of heart?

Not long ago, a friend and I were walking home to prepare ourselves to attend Sunday Mass. On the way, we saw a woman in the middle of the street. She was conscious but seemed to be suffering from pain. My friend and I wanted to hurry home so as not to be late for mass. However, the story of the good Samaritan stood at the back of my mind, so instead we decided to approach her and offer some assistance. It seems that this woman needed some money for medicines. As more people joined us to find out what was wrong with this woman, a taxi passed by and someone in the crowd volunteered to accompany her to the nearest hospital. Since I did not have much money with me, I gave her all that I can spare. Afterwards, I
related this incident to another friend of ours. To my surprise, he told me that he knew of another incident similar to ours. It seems that the woman used situations like these to solicit money from passersby and good-hearted people. Incidences like these gives rise to situations where in we become angry and sad, not only because we were taken advantage of but also because it encourages one to become indifferent and develop hardness of heart.

There are times we may feel helpless and at a loss of what to do especially in the midst of real crisis. It doesn’t help any when we experience events wherein we feel that people are using others for their own benefit. But in time of real crisis, the readings of today reminds us that Jesus will be there to help us and cure us, even when we are full of doubt and are blind because we listen to misleading rationalizations from skeptics and atheists.

Faith in God will bring God with us. All it takes is acceptance, prayer, and practicing what Jesus preaches.