Friday of the ThirtiethWeek in Ordinary Time

The healing of the hydropic

On a sabbath he went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy.  Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them, “Who among you, if your son or ox  falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question. Lk 14,1-6

The question of Jesus to the doctors of the law and to the Pharisees is a provoking one. He is well aware that, according to the Jew law, it is not possible to make any healing by Saturday, a feast day in which the waiting for the messianic time is celebrated. For him, who is the Messiah, the waiting time is over and the Saturday role is decayed. However, his provocation is not so much addressed to the respect of the feast day, but mainly to the intransigent behavior of the doctors of the law and of the Pharisees versus the others: “Who among you, if a son or an ox of yours falls into a pit, will not immediately take it out in the day of Sabbath?”  They cannot “answer anything to these words”, because no one knows how many times they did it also worst on the Saturday. Now let’ forget that this miracle took place in the day of Saturday and let’s address our thinking to the healing in itself. This man is sick because of the “hydropsy”: his body is swollen with water. By the past we had the opportunity to meditate on these healings which, in addition to the narration of the event, hide a symbolic meaning. The “blindness” represents the difficulty to read the signs of the times and the presence of the Lord in the history, the “deafness” and the “dumbness” depicts the incapacity  to communicate with God and with the men: the “leprosy” incarnates the sin which destroys the face of the man, the “dry hand” points out the difficulty to operate and the ”demoniac” shows how the demon can devastate the mind and the equilibrium of a person. The hydropsy which affects this man symbolizes, on the contrary, a quite common sickness of today: to be filled in by useless things, and sometime dangerous, to the point to cancel the space for what is good, nice and truth. We are talking of a lot of television programs, of some news on the newspapers, of the banalities which pervade us and of the empty talk which fills an ample part of our days. Let’s ask to the Lord to be healed from all these things, to have in our heart space for the pray, for the praise, for what is nice, true and saint.

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