Gospel: Mk 3:1-6
Again, Jesus entered the synagogue. A man, who had a paralyzed hand, was there; and some people watched Jesus: would he heal the man on the Sabbath? If he did, they could accuse him.
Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, “Stand here, in the center.“ Then he asked them, “What does the law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?“ But they were silent.
Then Jesus looked around at them with anger and deep sadness at their hardness of heart. And he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.“ He stretched it out, and his hand was healed. As soon as the Pharisees left, they met with Herod’s supporters, looking for a way to destroy Jesus.
“The plot thickens“
The conflict between Jesus and the Pharisees come to a head in today’s Gospel. Once again the ire of the Pharisees is ignited when Jesus cures on a Sabbath! Unlike in the earlier episodes where Jesus was almost on the defensive, now Jesus takes the offensive. Jesus looked at the opposition block with “anger and sadness“ and challenges the Pharisees. Going to the very heart of the Sabbath Law Jesus asks “What does the law allow us to do on the Sabbath? To do good or to do harm? To save life or to kill?“
Today we are reminded then to be faithful to the fundamental law: to love, or to do good. And this obligation is to be fulfilled at all times. It is what we would now say 24/7! We cannot only be good on Sunday and then forget our moral obligations the rest of the week.
Going back to the Gospel, it is interesting to note the conclusion of conflict of Jesus with the Pharisees. The Pharisees decide to destroy Jesus! To do this they will even seek the help of the Herodians, their avowed enemies! Their hatred for Jesus drove them to plot the death of Jesus!