“He is a foolish man who puts his trust in men” (IC 1,7,1) “Looking around at [the Pharisees] with anger and grieved at their hardness of heart, Jesus said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored.” (Mk 3:5)

It is difficult to argue with Kempis regarding in whom to put our trust, ultimately (1,7).  Even our closest family and friends can be a disappointment, but the Lord never lets us down.  God understands us perfectly and knows the heart.

So Jesus, being divine, in today’s Gospel (Mk 3:1-6), is able to read hearts.  The religious leaders were constantly looking for ways to trap Him, to accuse Him, to take Him down.  Jesus, who could have ingratiated Himself to these men to gain status in their eyes, rather trusted in His Father and the mission He was sent to fulfill.  Not caring for worldly accolades or recognition, Jesus does what is right (healing the man with the withered hand) rather than what is expedient.  We can recall these words written about Jesus:

Jesus would not trust himself to them because he knew them all, and did not need anyone to testify about human nature. He himself understood it well. (Jn 2:24-25)

And how do the Pharisees react?  Rather than resorting to prayer and searching the Scriptures (that they claim to be experts in knowing and interpreting) to resolve their concerns and doubts, they conspire with their enemies the Herodians (the political leaders associated with the pretender “king of the Jews,” Herod Antipas) — on the Lord’s day no less (thanks to Fr. Mitch Pacwa for this insight from today’s EWTN Mass homily)!  This is how they honor the day that God — who they claim as their own — has set aside for rest and worship?

Would that those politicians and religious leaders (and all Christians) of our day, who care more for political expediency rather than doing what is morally required by their professed faith, trust in God rather than men!  We would then see great progress toward the fulfillment of this petition of the Lord’s Prayer in our day:

Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Mt 6:10)

Christ healing the man with a withered hand (Byzantine mosaic)

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