The good news for the day January 18, 2017

Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time (313)

Once Jesus entered his house of prayer, and a man was there who had a crippled hand. The people there were looking closely at Jesus to see whether he was going to do a cure on the Sabbath—so that they could hold that against Him. To the man with the crippled hand Jesus said, “Come up front here.” Then Jesus addressed the religious leaders, “Is it legal to do something good on the Sabbath—rather than do something wrong? To save life rather than to destroy it?” They had no answer. Looking around at them irritated—and sad at their hardness of heart—Jesus said to the individual, “Stretch your hand out.” He stretched it out and his hand went back to normal. The religious leaders (the Pharisees) left—and immediately started a conversation with the political powers-that-be (the Jews who supported the Herod family) They were discussing how to put Jesus to death. (Mark 3)

Jesus stood up to suspicions, authority and insincerity of religious leaders of his day. That is—we are informed—why they wanted to stop him—to kill him. He was—in our parlance—a “whistle-blower,”—someone who took to task the cultural standards that hurt rather than helped people.

At some point in life—and it might be very early—you and I need to decide how much we are going to conform—and how much we are going to buck a system that we see as wrong—a system that puts profit over people, conformity over conscience, “me-me-me” over “others,” and tries to trap people—a system that says “I am always right and therefore you are wrong.” Such a system needs you to stand up to it, to dispute its zealous righteousness—to emphasize life over law, and compassion over rage.

Our world is just the same as Jesus’s. You and I need to disagree with religious leaders, to suffer the same consequences for kindness, healing and following your conscience. The Good News is that you stay Alive to Life and confront its cultural abuses (“This Generation”), you are not just passively obedient to a misguided conformity.


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