23rd Week in Ordinary Time, Monday

In today’s Gospel Our Lord reminds us that the Gospel is not something to live quietly or behind closed doors. He knew he was being observed by the scribes and Pharisees to see if he would perform a miracle on the Sabbath and give them ammunition. That didn’t make him heal the withered hand out in the back after teaching in the synagogue away from prying eyes. He didn’t just perform the miracle, he performed it publicly and in a synagogue on the Sabbath. It’s interesting that the scribes and Pharisees didn’t haul him off and accuse him right there; they knew in the eyes of people who still possessed common sense that Jesus had done something good on the Sabbath, just as he’d said. If only they too had understood.

As a result they saw Our Lord as a threat to be dealt with, but not directly and openly. That should already put us on our guard against whatever “gospel” they’re following. The works of God are meant to be signs to the world: signs to the goodness, power, and mercy of God. We shouldn’t be shy about getting the Word out, and also praying and working so that in countries where Christians are persecuted they receive the freedom to exercise their religion without threats or fear.

Let’s examine ourselves today and see whether there’s anyone in our lives who make us shy about sharing the Gospel and living our faith openly. And, as Our Lord did in today’s Gospel, let’s be loud about doing good works in his name.

Readings: Colossians 1:24–2:3; Psalm 62:6–7, 9; Luke 6:6–11.