January 18, 2017 – WEDNESDAY, 2nd Week in Ordinary Time
Heb 7:1 - 3, 15- 17 / Mk 3:1 - 6
FROM THE 1ST READING: Heb 7:1 - 3
Scripture says that Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, came out to meet Abraham who returned from defeating the kings. He blessed Abraham and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything.
Let us note that the name Melchizedek means king of justice and that king of Salem means king of peace. There is no mention of father, mother or genealogy; nothing is said about the beginning or the end of his life. In this he is the figure of the Son of God, the priest who remains forever.
GOSPEL READING: Mk 3:1 - 6
Again Jesus entered the synagogue. A man who had a paralyzed hand was there, and some of the 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 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 because they had closed their minds. And he said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and his hand was healed. But as soon as the Pharisees left, they met with Herod's supporters, looking for a way to destroy Jesus.
The Pharisees and the leaders of the Jews were such sticklers for their numerous man-made rules and procedures. They forgot that God's commandments were meant to help people and not to over-burden them. Like safety and traffic signs on the roads, God's commandments are meant to help people and keep them from accidents and danger.
There are still many among us who act like the Pharisees at the time of Jesus. A motorist driving on a bridge sees a man about to commit suicide by jumping off the bridge into the waters below. He stops his car in the middle of the bridge and successfully coaxes the despondent fellow out of his suicide jump.
A policeman arrives at the scene, approaches the motorist and gives him a traffic violation ticket for illegally parking his vehicle on the bridge.
Such a policeman is so much like the Pharisees who condemned Jesus for violating the sabbath when he cures the man with the paralyzed hand on the sabbath.
Lord, grant us the wisdom to be obedient to your commandments but, at the same time, to be able to discern between the letter and the spirit of your laws.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER INTENTIONS:
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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