Wednesday 13 November 2019

Thirty-second week on Ordinary Time

Word for today
The Gospel of Luke 13:10-17

Who is holding on to whom?

And a woman was there who for eighteen years had been crippled by a spirit: she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect. Literally: and so, a woman holding onto a spirit of infirmities, eighteen years, and was bent over [Greek: sunkùptoand she could not straighten up toward the complete-absolute [Greek: èis tò pànteles].
Who is holding on to whom?
According to The New American Bible's translation it is a spirit that is holding on, it is holding on to this woman causing her infirmities; instead, in the literal translation it is the woman who is holding on to (possesses) a disabling spirit, and that prevents her from standing upright. It prevents her from being upright, unconstrained, free; that is, it prevents her from being herself in all her dignity and beauty and to fulfill all of her divine potential and wealth. Most of all, it prevents her from rising up towards the Absolute and to glorify God. The liberation which Jesus offers that woman is total;  He heals her body and liberates her spirit. This can be deduced from the fact that, once cured, the woman immediately stood up straight, she regained her mental and physical stature and started to glorify God - a sign of her inner spiritual liberation.
Due to a series of inflicted or received wounds, weaknesses, fears and ignorance, this woman’s imprisonment had begun from the moment she had started thinking badly of God, of life, and of herself, and she began to hold onto the contracted spirit of rancour, the weight of guilt, the tyrants of revenge, the biting contractions of anger. It is this woman’s inner attitude of holding on to evil which allows Satan to prey on her, to cling to her, to keep her tied up and imprisoned, weighing her down and bending her to the ground in mind, spirit, and body for eighteen years. Jesus laid His hands on her and the woman was healed; she immediately stood up straight and glorified God. The healing carried out by Jesus allowed the woman to re-align herself with life, with herself, and with God. It is  healing which does not occur in the heart and spirit of the leader of the Synagogue, whose body is not bent and curved, yet is mentally equally imprisoned by Satan’s chains because he holds within himself the spirit of evil. It is this inner necrotic holding on to evil, thinking badly of God, which makes the religious leader’s mind so paralytic, bent and stupid to the point  that, at the peak of his intellectual splendour, he reacts to Jesus’ liberating power with fiery although pathetic, ridiculous, indignation. At the peak of his speculative and theological acumen, that religious leader dared to decide when - the day and the time - that humanity can pray and implore God and God can love, heal, liberate humanity. Healing either happens inside or it does not happen in any other dimension and it does not obey calendars, laws or conventions.