Monday of the Thirtieth Week in Ordinary Time
Jesus healed a woman who “had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect… He laid hands on her, and she at once stood up straight and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-17). Jesus performed this healing in a synagogue on a Sabbath, so, of course, the Pharisees complained, and Jesus, in return, accused them of hypocrisy and publicly humiliated them. The story shows Jesus’ compassion, his wit, his wisdom, and his supernatural power.
When we read a miracle story in the scripture, from time to time, the thought comes to us: “did that really happen?” It is more difficult for us to believe that Jesus performed a miracle than to believe that he said something wise or witty. This is because we have more experience of wisdom and of witticisms than we do of supernatural cures.
The question of whether God really worked this or that miracle as reported in sacred scripture comes to us with a companion question: is God really going to cure me, too? In other words, whatever my need or my affliction might be: will I be saved?
Consider the woman who was healed in this story. Did she ever wonder whether God would cure her? Given that, in her time, religious belief was generally stronger and more widespread than in our own, she had probably prayed for a cure many times. She had to wait eighteen years for her cure. That was the time God chose for her. Do we really know how long God should wait before he heals us? Should it be eighteen years like the woman in the story? Or maybe seventeen would be better? Let us put aside our own timelines for all our problems to be resolved, and trust that God will choose the right time for us, too.