1 Corinthians 5:1-8; Luke 6:6-11
Yesterday Mother Teresa was made a saint, this wonderful, admirable woman. And in his homily yesterday Father Ignacio quoted Mother Teresa saying that “our Calcutta” is right here. Corvallis is our Calcutta. Albany.
The poor are all around us: the lonely neighbor who is poor in companionship, in company; the new student at OSU who is maybe intellectually poor, without experience of literature and ideas; the co-worker who is poor emotionally, without patience or compassion or self-control. The homeless and the dying of course need our help and of course need our compassion but in a way they are the more obvious, the more photogenic. We are guilty of a special kind of hypocrisy—as I sometimes am myself—when we profess our love for the marginal and the outcast and yet are cranky with our wives or impatient with a barista.
All Jesus does is heal a single man with a withered hand. Not all men and women with withered hands. Not all the sick and not all the suffering. Just this one man, in this one place and time. And though he does call attention to his act, does do it in the synagogue, right in front of everyone, he doesn’t do this to win favor but to provoke change in the people around him, and he does: this is one of the actions that eventually gets him killed.