“They became enraged and discussed together what they might do to Jesus.”

We now advance to a sabbath day in a synagogue (Lk 6:6-11).  While teaching, it comes to Jesus’ attention that a man with a withered hand is there.  The Pharisees and scribes watch closely to see if Jesus will heal the man on the sabbath (a no-no as far as they are concerned).  Jesus questions whether it is lawful to do good over evil, save life over destroy it.  Not getting a response He heals the man.  The passage closes with the sentence in the headline.  When non-Christians become “enraged” at Jesus we might be able to understand it.  This may happen because the deeply held (albeit false) religious beliefs of some contradict Jesus’ life and message.  Wishing ill upon Jesus’ body, the Church, is not uncommon, and continues to lead to physical persecution of Christians throughout the world.  We pray for the persecutors and their victims.  The former for conversion, the latter for perseverance.  Non-believers or misguided Christians can also practice their own form of persecution: Working mightily to remove God from the public square.  The secularization of society has taken hold of much of the western world and the pace is accelerating.  Here Jesus (and His Body) is not necessarily physically oppressed (although there have been instances) but rather pushed aside, ignored, or suppressed.  Potentially more deadly in the sense that it tends to be a gradual transition that, before we will know what happened, leads to the elimination of God from society.  Christians, as the Body of Christ, must not allow this to happen.  We must fervently pray for a reconversion of society that brings Christ center stage once more.  He is society’s — and the world’s — only salvation.

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