Pharisees watched him: Would Jesus heal the man on the Sabbath? If he did, they could
But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to the man, “Get up and stand in the middle.” Then
he spoke to them, “I want to ask you: what is allowed by the Law on the Sabbath, to do
good or to do harm, to save life or destroy it?” And Jesus looked around at them all.
Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out and his hand was
restored, becoming as whole as the other. But they were furious and began to discuss
with one another how they could deal with Jesus.
Jesus commands the man with the paralyzed hand to stretch out his hand. For this man, the
ability to stretch out his hand was proof that his infirmity had been healed. In his own way, in
the first reading, Paul is assuring the Colossians that he will always stretch out his hand in
service to them and to the entire Church, even if that requires suffering. After all, Jesus
stretched out his hands on the cross to save us.
An outstretched hand can offer welcome or assistance in a time of need. To whom are you
called to stretch out your hand? Who is waiting for you to welcome them or come to their aid?
How can you become more attentive to others’ needs? As Saint Teresa of Avila taught,
“Christ has no hands but ours.”
Reaching out to others is not without risk. Your efforts may be rejected or arouse opposition.
As Paul’s example shows, the life of a disciple is often marked by suffering, in imitation of
Christ. But as Paul reminds the Colossians, no matter what suffering we might experience,
Christ has destined us for glory.
© Copyright Bible Diary 2023