Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time [I]
Romans 8:12-17 + Luke 13:10-17
As He said this, all His adversaries were put to shame….
Why is Jesus so insensitive? Being a divine person, Jesus knew that His words against the ruler of the synagogue would cause His adversaries shame. But still He spoke as He did.
Is it a sin to make another person ashamed? The ruler of a politically correct culture would respond, “Always and everywhere.” Jesus must believe differently.
It’s interesting that this Gospel narrative has no parallel in any of the other three Gospel accounts. Only St. Luke presents this narrative. Yet St. Luke’s Gospel account is known especially for highlighting the theme of mercy in the Good News of Jesus Christ. That might, were we to think like the politically correct, for whom praise and popularity are life’s chief virtues, seem an odd contradiction. But perhaps instead this narrative reveals to us a certain integrity.
It is precisely for the sake of mercy that Jesus speaks here as He does. Shame has a place, Jesus reveals here, in lowering the one who has falsely raised himself or herself. But this very act of shaming enables mercy to be shown: here, to the woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years. May Jesus help us in our modern culture to rid ourselves of two-dimensional views of mercy and shame, and accept with gratitude all that comes forth from God’s Word.