When he entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath so they might find an accusation against him.” (Luke 6:6-7)
The word ‘hatred’ can be defined as a “deep and emotional extreme dislike. Hatred is often associated with feelings of anger, disgust, and a disposition towards hostility.” Once the Scribes and Pharisees allowed this poison to enter their hearts, they found it difficult to appreciate anything good in Jesus Christ.
In today’s Gospel passage, Jesus was in a Synagogue with a man with a withered hand. Beckoning the man to come out in the open view of all, Jesus asked a simple question: “Is it against the law to do good or evil on the Sabbath day?”
The Scribes and Pharisees must have been ashamed of themselves. They couldn’t answer a word. Jesus said to the man: “Stretch forth your hand.” And instantly, the man was healed.
Hatred is deadly. The feeling of hatred makes you blind to the good in others. Hatred makes you criticise everything in everybody. Hatred blinds us. St. John warns us: “He who hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.” (1 John 2:11).
Hatred takes away your happiness. The scribes and Pharisees could not rejoice at the healing of the man with a withered hand. Instead, they started plotting to kill Jesus. Hatred turns us into little devils.
In today’s First Reading, we see how Paul reacts to the suffering and hardships he endured at the hands of people who hated him for proclaiming Christ. He says, “I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh, I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ…”
How do we rejoice in our suffering? By considering the result. A farmer rejoices while planting because he knows that harvest is sure. Learn to look beyond the pains you suffer for the sake of Christ. For every cross, there is a crown. Don’t hate those who persecute you. Offer everything to God and let Him take vengeance for your sake.
Let us pray: Almighty, help me to love you above everything else and to love my neighbour as myself. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Colossians 1:24-2:3, Ps. 62:6-7,9, Luke 6:6-11).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu