1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand.
2 And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him.
3 And he said to the man who had the withered hand, "Come here."
4 And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent.
5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
6 The Pharisees went out, and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Today’s Gospel describes a miraculous healing done by Jesus on a Sabbath as a public violation of Sabbath law to prove that God's intention for the Sabbath was to do good and to save life rather than to do evil or to destroy life.
The incident and the reaction: Exodus 20:8 and Deut. 5:12 instructed the Jews to keep the Sabbath holy. But the Scribes and the Pharisees had amplified God’s law on the Sabbath by misinterpreting it and had made it burdensome for the common people through man-made laws. Jesus wanted to demonstrate in public, the original intention of God in declaring the Sabbath holy. For Jesus, the Sabbath was a day of rest to be used in adoring God, learning and teaching His laws and doing good to/for others. Hence, Jesus took the liberty of granting healing to a man with a withered hand in the local synagogue immediately after the worship service, thus infuriating the scribes and the Pharisees.
1) Our Christian Sabbath observance of participating in the Eucharistic celebration is meant to recharge our spiritual batteries for doing good to/for others and avoiding evil.
2) Our Sunday observance is also meant to be an offering of our lives to God on the altar, to ask God’s pardon and forgiveness for our sins, to present our needs before the Lord and to participate in the Divine Life by Holy Communion.
3) It is also a day for us to spend time with the members of the family and to participate in the activities of our parish and neighborhood. (Fr. Tony)