Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Reading 1Eph 4:32–5:8; Gospel Lk 13: 10-17
One of the oft quoted scriptural passages from the Old Testament is that from Qoheleth: There is a time for everything: time for action, time for inaction. But in today’s Gospel Jesus is turning things upside down by saying that when it is the question of doing good there is no stipulated time. The attack of the Pharisees is very reasonable. They didn’t tell Jesus not to cure but that the miracle should be done during the 6 days of the week and not on the Sabbath day, just creating public scandal to the people. But Jesus calls them hypocrites and cures the lady. The basic theology behind it is his conviction that man is not made for Sabbath but Sabbath for man. The parable of the Good Samaritan again in the Gospel of Luke conveys the same idea. The indifference of the priest and Levite could be justified. If they touch him, they would become impure and thus would not be able to carry out their duties. But they fail to be a neighbor for the person in need. Only the one who didn’t look at the time became the neighbor. Never lag in doing good. There is no stipulated time and place to do good. Goodness is to be done every day and every time. The action of Jesus is also related to his ‘eternal now.’ The popular hymn goes ‘if you have a kind word to say, do it now.’ From personal experience I have learned that there were moments when I had to regret due to postponing a small visit to a sick person. Even lying on the cross Jesus gave a consoling word to the repentant thief. Goodness has no stipulated time.