First reading Romans 8:12-17

The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God

My brothers, there is no necessity for us to obey our unspiritual selves or to live unspiritual lives. If you do live in that way, you are doomed to die; but if by the Spirit you put an end to the misdeeds of the body you will live.
  Everyone moved by the Spirit is a son of God. The spirit you received is not the spirit of slaves bringing fear into your lives again; it is the spirit of sons, and it makes us cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself and our spirit bear united witness that we are children of God. And if we are children we are heirs as well: heirs of God and coheirs with Christ, sharing his sufferings so as to share his glory.
 
 

Responsorial Psalm 67(68):2,4,6-7,20-21

This God of ours is a God who saves.
 
Let God arise, let his foes be scattered.
  Let those who hate him flee before him.
But the just shall rejoice at the presence of God,
  they shall exult and dance for joy.
 
Father of the orphan, defender of the widow,
  such is God in his holy place.
God gives the lonely a home to live in;
  he leads the prisoners forth into freedom.
 
May the Lord be blessed day after day.
  He bears our burdens, God our saviour.
This God of ours is a God who saves.
  The Lord our God holds the keys of death.
 
 

Gospel Luke 13:10-17

Was it not right to untie this woman’s bonds on the sabbath day?

One sabbath day Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, and a woman was there who for eighteen years had been possessed by a spirit that left her enfeebled; she was bent double and quite unable to stand upright. When Jesus saw her he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are rid of your infirmity’ and he laid his hands on her. And at once she straightened up, and she glorified God.
  But the synagogue official was indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, and he addressed the people present. ‘There are six days’ he said ‘when work is to be done. Come and be healed on one of those days and not on the sabbath.’ But the Lord answered him. ‘Hypocrites!’ he said ‘Is there one of you who does not untie his ox or his donkey from the manger on the sabbath and take it out for watering? And this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan has held bound these eighteen years – was it not right to untie her bonds on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his adversaries were covered with confusion, and all the people were overjoyed at all the wonders he worked.
 
 
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God is here

In today’s gospel, Jesus saw a woman who was bent double and unable to stand upright at the synagogue. Jesus reached out to her and healed her. However, the religious leaders were unhappy with Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath. For Jesus, God was so much bigger than obeying the Sabbath law and showing compassionate love was more important than fulfilling religious norms. He chose to give the woman the experience of liberation.
 
Love and compassion must always lead us to action. Today, many people around us are “bent double” because of one reason or another. They struggle to stand straight and live life with freedom and joy. Let us not procrastinate to love but open our hearts to recognise that each person is a child of God who needs our words of affirmation, listening ear, smiles and helping hand. Through our compassionate love, we can show them God’s life-giving and liberating presence among them.
 
Reflective question:
Who is that one person who needs my love, attention, care and time the most today?
 
 
Acknowledgment: Reflections are based on “Prayer for Living: The Word of God for Daily Prayer Year A” by Sr Sandra Seow FMVD.