Monday 9 September 2019
St Peter Claver
Colossians 1:24 – 2:3. Psalm 61(62):6-7, 9. Luke 6:6-11.
In God is my safety and my glory – Psalm 61(62):6-7, 9
‘Stretch out your hand’
For the Jewish people, the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy had become detached from its true purpose. Work of any kind on the Sabbath, was condemned. Instead of enshrining peace and freedom, the law enslaved and oppressed; enforcing guilt rather than gratitude.
Jesus publicly challenges rigid, inhumane thinking which imprisons people’s hearts. He understands how fear and prejudice twist our judgment, until we can come to believe that bad is good and wrong is right. The withered hand becomes an image of our withered potential. The man’s hand is healed when he stretches it out to Jesus, who lovingly restores him to fullness of life. He offers the same hope to all. Sadly, some will choose instead to plot death.
Saint Peter Claver SJ is the Patron Saint of Slaves because of his inspiring work among African slaves in Spanish Columbia. Human slavery remains a present evil in our world. Let us remember with gratitude all those who work to end slavery and pray for them and with them.