Father Rodney Torbic

November 27 / December 10, 2017

The Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost

Luke 13:10-17

And he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And, behold, there was a woman which had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, Woman, thou art loosed from thine infirmity. And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day? And when he had said these things, all his adversaries were ashamed: and all the people rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by him. (KJV)

The Lord Jesus Christ is the best teacher. His teachings benefit individuals throughout their lives. One New Testament professor said Jesus was identified as “Teacher” more than by any other name. Jesus’ teachings are inexhaustible.

The person seeking to nourish the soul will feast on Jesus’ words. The person seeking to learn about peace will find peace in Jesus Christ. Individuals seeking to learn about moral teachings and care of the poor need only look to Christ.

Individuals seeking the meaning of life and eternal life will have more than enough to consider in the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. The despondent, the sick, and the tormented will find hope in Christ’s teachings.

The grieving and the tired will find comfort in reading Christ’s words. Jesus’ teaching is timeless and holds value for every generation. Believers need only open their hearts and minds and exert effort to fully grow in understanding.

Spiritual growth is a life-long process. The serious believer will apply him or herself seeking continued learning from Christ. Participating in “continuing education” throughout life is an expectation for all believers.

Every believer benefits from regularly reading the teachings of Christ in the Holy Gospel. Listening to the Holy Gospel in Church and reading the Bible at home are effective ways to continue to learn.

The woman in the current Gospel had a long-standing infirmity. She had time to adapt to it and compensate for it. She had time to find a way to cope with the demands of daily living.

Her infirmity was severe and distorted her posture. Her mobility was limited. Individuals with full mobility and good health do well to thank God. The age of the onset of the woman’s condition is not given.

Her age at the time Jesus saw her is not given. She was an adult. We do not know if her behavior contributed to the onset of the condition and to its continued existence.

We do not know if she abused herself or was negligent in any way that would help keep her infirm. The degree of hope the woman professed is not expressed. Strong faith is needed to maintain hope over an eighteen year period of time.

Strong belief in God is needed to keep hope alive when a negative condition exists. Consider the men and women kept as prisoners of war. Think about the wrongly convicted or individuals with long-standing physical or mental ailments.

The woman in the current Gospel had a view of the world that was different from men and women capable of walking upright. Her view of the world was different than individuals having more mobility.

The woman had to take into account her physical condition when establishing her personal goals. St. Luke preserved the words of Jesus directed to the woman with the infirmity.

Jesus’ words must have made an immediate impact on the woman. These were words certainly not expected after she had endured her condition for eighteen years.

Jesus’ words would have set the woman’s thought processes in motion. She would have to process what Jesus meant when He said she was loosed from her infirmity.

This was a new birth for this woman. She was released from the restrictions of her infirmity. Her mobility would increase. Her world would change. The Lord Jesus Christ entered into her life in a way that radically altered the woman’s life.

Jesus took the initiative to call the woman to Him. She was within sight of Jesus. Jesus always sees individuals. Individuals are always in the presence of Jesus. The “call” to draw near to Jesus is a constant call.

Every person is infirm and afflicted by personal sin. Everyone’s mobility is limited by personal sin. Being freed from the weight of sin brings a sense of release and a new freedom.

Holy Confession and Holy Communion create a loosening and freeing action. Jesus spoke directly to the woman. Individuals attentive to the presence of Christ and seeking to address the hunger of the soul will hear Christ’s “call” to draw near.

Jesus touched the woman with His hands. Jesus’ touch brought immediate healing. She was made straight and glorified God. The woman’s life was transformed.

The healing of this woman challenges the mind to give careful thought to the Lord Jesus Christ. Individuals yearning for release from sin and ways of life that are restrictive do well to turn to the Lord Jesus Christ for new freedom.

November 27 / December 10, 2017.
The Twenty-Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
St. James the Persian.
St. Jacob of Rostov.

Fr. Rodney Torbic
Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania

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