Reading: From the Gospel according to St. Luke 13:10-17
Dear and Respected Brethren,
We are entering the fifth week of the Holy great Lent. Our Lord was making
use of the Sabbath to carry out his teaching mission, as we read in verse
10. It is time for us to think how we are utilizing the time on the day
equal to Sabbath. Kindly think whether we are eager to study about the
experiences of the kingdom of God. On Sundays at least we must try to spend
the maximum time with our Lord God. If so we will be noticed by our Lord
God as He noticed the bowed woman. We should not forget the fact that the
bowed woman had reached the presence of our Lord on her own interests. In
verse 11 we read that she had a spirit of infirmity for the last 18 years.
Infirmity or the equivalent word �Ostheneia� literally means, �want of
strength� or weakness indicating inability to produce results. We read in
Romans 8:26 �Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities �� , where
infirmities are used for weakness. St. Paul has used the term �infirmities�
in the same meaning in 2 Corinthians 12:5, 12:9 and 12:10. The phrase
�spirit of infirmity� attributes her curvature directly to the satanic
agency. The phrase is considered as an indication of the trained medical
knowledge of the writer of the Gospel, who was a revered physician.
In verse 12 we read, �And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said
unto her, Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. Likewise we all are
having infirmities spiritually. We all are bowed. The bowed cannot look up
and hence cannot see the faces of the people around them who are not bowed.
Exactly this is what is happening in our spiritual lives. We are bowed and
almost like the deaf, because we are not listening the call of our Lord. We
go to the presence of our Lord, almost near him every Sunday. But are we
listening his call. He is calling you and me to him. We are ignoring his
call or pretending as if we did not hear the call. In such a condition, it
will be very difficult for our Lord even to loosen us from our infirmities.
We must go to him with real repentance and must cry as the prodigal son
cried. We must admit our great mistakes of ignoring his calls until now.
In verse 13 we read, �And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was
made straight and glorified God�. When Lord Jesus called the bowed woman to
him, she went to him. We are not sure whether she had a strong feeling that
he was the real savior. Still it is to be noted that she obeyed him. From
our birth we have heard many things about our Lord, we have experienced the
deepness and width of his oceans of love. Still while having the spiritual
infirmities, why we are not listening his call. Why we forget his promise?
We have to think about it seriously. The only remedy to save our souls is to
turn back from our paths and go near our Lord and Savior. He will receive us
with his both open hands. He will bless us and hold us in his arms. Let us
also attain our Lord�s blessings and let us pray with the Psalmist �Bless
the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgets all your
iniquities; who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from
destruction, who crowns ou with loving kindness and tender mercies� (Psalms
103:2-5) So also let us pray, �O Lord, truly I am your servant, I am your
servant and son of your handmaid, you have loosed my bonds, I will offer to
thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord�
(Psalms 116:16-17). After the long 18 years she could stand straight. What
did she do immediately? She glorified God for the mercy. The modern
Christians have lost, we must say, the quality to glorify God. If we were in
the place of the woman, what would have been our response immediately? If I
was in her place, I would have run to the ones who might have abused me
calling �bowed�, instead of glorifying God for His mercy and compassion.
See a few among the crowd were not happy with the healing of the bowed
woman. Such incidents take place in the contemporary world too. In verse 14
we read about the ruler of the synagogue who answered with indignation. See
similar incidents in St. John 5:15-16.When some noble things take place in
the society, we might also think like the Jews, who found fault with the
deeds of our savior. We should not be narrow minded at any cost. We must
appreciate all good deeds to the poor and needy from any corner of the
society. May God Almighty help us to make use of the prayers, fasting and
meditation during this Lenten season for the enrichment of our spirituality.
Let us adore Lord Jesus as our Lord, God and Savior. Let us pray earnestly
to make use of us to share His divine love among the less fortunate ones
across the globe.
May God bless one and all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril
St. George Orthodox Church
Member ID # 0905