Brian’s Reflection: The Weekend, Sat, August 21, 2010
"You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox
or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water?
And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan
bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the
sabbath day?" When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame;
and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he
Jesus, in Luke 13 – for Sunday, Aug 22 [Prop 16, Year C, RCL]
Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote (in his book “The Sabbath”):
The higher goal of spiritual living is not to amass a wealth
of information, but to face sacred moments. ... The meaning
of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days
a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the
Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is
a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal
in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery
of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world.
Two things to ponder today. One: Engaging the “sacred moment”. The woman didn’t even ask Jesus to be healed of her arthritis or bad back or whatever; she just was in the right place at the right time. This is our spiritual work always – to keep ourselves “in the sacred moment”. That’s where we connect with the Mystery, the energy, of Life. The religious leaders objected to Jesus healing on the Sabbath; they told the people to go away! We need to be wary of “religion” that misdirects us from atunement.
Two: the woman was “bent over” for 18 years. She saw only the ground. She’s a metaphor for us: Look up! “The ground” represents our just being materially alive. “Straightening up” represents finding the inner spirit that draws us into the full Mystery of Life, “to share in what is eternal in time”.
May our every day be a Sabbath. May we live joyfully and fully in the “sacred moment”.