GOSPEL MESSAGE & RECORDING
In the Gospel Reading today, taken from St. Luke 13: 10-17, our Lord Jesus healed a woman who had a “spirit” of infirmity for eighteen years that caused her to have a bent back. Slouching over and gazing on the ground for that long, it would be correct to assume that this woman was either in constant pain and/or had a very sad existence. The moment Jesus healed her; it would have been an exhilarating. It is interesting to note that the Lord saw her and called her toward him, so that he could heal her. She did not call out Jesus, nor does the gospel say she went toward him. The point is: Jesus saw her pain and had compassion. It would be accurate to assume that he felt sorry for the woman, or even, sympathized with her. Whatever the case, Jesus initiated the process, at least from what is written in the Gospel.
Even though, at times we have illnesses or great struggles in our lives; that is, our faces are down with the weight of sin, or our backs are bent with the weight of our temptations and trials, Jesus still see us in our pain and sorrow and he calls us toward him, just as he saw the bent woman and called her toward him. We should be reminded that as followers of Christ, 1) God always sees us and 2) he always calling us. What does this mean?
God always sees us: it might seem during times of trial and tribulation that God is distant from us. The truth is that God by nature is always close to us because he is omnipresent (everywhere). If he is everywhere, then he sees us…in our pain…in our sorrow…in our lowest moments…God sees us. The issue is not God’s but ours. Meaning, we grow distant from God through out sins and failures. Therefore, God never distances himself from us; we distance ourselves from him. If we “spiritually” look, we will realize that God is looking at us in the circumstances that we experience on a daily basis. Just as he saw the bent woman, so also he sees us. The point is: we are never alone. It might feel that way, but Jesus is right there next to us. If we were able to see his fiery eyes looking at us, we would understand how much he cares for us. How much he loves us. What a sad situation it is that many Christians cannot see this reality. If such is the case with us, we need to pray and fast, especially during this Lenten season.
He is always calling us: Jesus called the bent woman over to him. Jesus is always “calling” us over to him. No matter our circumstance or situation, Jesus is always calling us toward him. He does so because he wants to heal us. He doesn’t want us to be downtrodden and live pathetic lives. He wants us to fulfill the purposes of our life here in this world. A Christian who is serious about his or her faith will always feel a “tug” toward the divine. No matter how backslidden we are, there is a “pull” that continuous bothers us. This is the “call” of Christ. Listen to that call! If it is a place that we are not suppose to be in. If we are doing something we are not suppose to be doing. If we are talking about something we are not suppose to be talking about. Then, listen to God’s call. God calls us in the midst of the darkness and draws us to the light. Also, he calls us in the midst of our “wrong” to make us “right.”