A Reflection Drawn from Lk 13:10-17
The woman went to the synagogue to keep holy the Sabbath day (Lk 13:11).
Have I failed to keep holy the Sabbath by failing to go to Mass one or more weekends?
Have I excused myself too lightly from attending Mass because of a minor ailment, or feeling down in the dumps, or feeling too tired?
Have I wrongly excused myself from attending Mass because of a job conflict, or a sporting event, or vacation?
Have I let some of my old sins prevent me from coming to church when church is what I really needed?
The woman was crippled, but she went to the synagogue to praise God anyway (Lk 13:11).
Have I pouted or felt sorry for myself because of an illness or disability?
Have I been crabby or mean to others because of sickness or frustration?
When I have had to deal with suffering or misfortune, have I blamed God or complained to God rather than praise the Lord for the blessings I do enjoy?
Jesus taught in the synagogue (Lk 13:10).
Have I failed to pay attention to Jesus’ teaching by rarely or never opening up my Bible and reading from his gospels?
Have I failed to listen to Jesus teaching by daydreaming during the proclamation of the Scriptures, particularly the gospel reading, at Mass?
Have I failed to pay careful attention to the explanation of Jesus’ teaching in the homily?
Have I dismissed or ignored an important teaching of Jesus in my life?
The woman was crippled by an eighteen year-old sin (Lk 13:11).
Is there an old sin that I committed months, or years, or decades ago that I have never dealt with that is crippling me?
What is the most shameful thing I did during my early childhood years?
What is the most regrettable, humiliating sin of my adolescent years?
What is my most embarrassing misdeed of my young adult years?
Where did I let Satan take the strongest hold during my midlife period?
What has me most shamefaced these days?
The crippled woman was debilitated by one or more very serious sins that had been committed a long while ago (Lk 13:11).
As I take a long look back over the entirety of my life, what are the old sins that haunt me, that I have never put to rest, that weigh me down, that I have never reconciled?
What was the most disrespectful thing I ever did to my parents?
What was the one dreadful thing I did to damage the harmony in my family?
What was the horrendous thing I did to violate another person’s trust in me?
What is the most appalling thing I have ever done to inflict bodily harm on another person?
What was the most abusive thing that I’ve done to another person?
What is the worst sexual impropriety I committed?
What has been the most harmful act of infidelity that I have committed against my spouse?
What has been the worst lie that I have told?
What is the most deceitful thing I have done?
What evil thing is lurking in my past that I have never come to terms with, that I have never brought to the Lord for forgiveness?
Even while Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, he noticed the crippled woman (Lk 13:12).
Have I been so busy and preoccupied with my own tasks, that I have failed to notice a hurting person who really needs my help?
If I have noticed someone in need, have I refused to be interrupted, continuing with my own work, and insensitively made the other person wait?
Do I see other people’s problems as a burden on me rather than an opportunity to be a generous and cheerful agent of God’s love?
Jesus was offended by the woman’s old sins, but no matter how hurt, upset, or wounded he may have been with her, he said, “you are set free of your infirmity” (Lk 13:12); I forgive you! If Jesus can forgive, so can we.
Is there someone who hurt me a long time ago whom I have failed to forgive?
Am I still punishing someone who mistreated me a long time ago?
Am I setting up obstacles to prevent their success? Making mean comments?
Am I using the silent treatment to retaliate against someone who let me down?
Am I running a smear campaign of lies and half truths against the character of a person who caused me terrible pain a long while ago?
Do I have a fierce dislike for someone who has caused me great harm, and spend time and energy thinking how I might get revenge, strike back, or get even?
Jesus reached out, touched the bent-over woman, and cured her (Lk 13:12-13).
Have I distanced myself from Jesus so it is difficult for him to touch me?
Do I doubt that Jesus has the power to forgive me, no matter how bad my past sins may be?
Do I refuse to let go of past failures and fail to move on?
The woman stood straight up and glorified God (Lk 13:13).
Have I taken Jesus’ gift of mercy and forgiveness for granted?
Have I failed to recognize the enormous price that Jesus paid to forgive my sins by giving his life on the Cross?
Have I failed to praise and thank God for the awesome gift of forgiveness?
Do I have a gloomy outlook, and fail to be happy, bright, and cheerful?