by Rev. Fr. Solomon OIC, Bethany Ashram, Kunnamkulam
Bible Reading - Luke 13:10-17
Thomas Moore once said "There is no sorrow in this world which cannot be mitigated by God." We see here a woman enduring her infirmity for the last 18 years. We see her in the temple of God, bearing her troubles and her pain. Yet she has come to this temple, to the presence of God, filled with hope and we see her healed and filled with peace and relief on this glorious day. Let us consider the three stages in her life.
The condition she was in before her infirmity
This was the period in her life before she experienced the curse of illness and pain inflicted by Satan. It was a stage in her life when she stood erect before God without fear, shame, or the burden of sin. It was a period when there were no obstacles or hindrances to obstruct her from praising and worshipping God. It was a time when there was no downfall or decadence from the relationship between God and man, when there was no blemish in the natural purity, happiness and piety towards God.
The Condition which befell her
Here we see a woman who could not stand erect for 18 years, having fallen in to the clutches of Satan (Luke 13:16). Under a demonic influence or power her spine had become weak both physically and spiritually - a human being leading an almost beastly existence wherein all her movements and appearance in life are concerned only for earthly affairs. Such a person does not look up. He is concerned only with a day-to-day existence as to what he will eat, drink or enjoy and all struggles, endeavors and activities are aimed only at temporal achievements. Through the bondage of sin this life is far removed from the worship and praise of God, and separated from a quest for all things divine. It has a lifestyle which has no responsibility or obligation to God or to the brotherhood of man because of this "hump" of selfishness.
A condition all of us should seek to attain
Man is not what he ought to be; Man must necessarily become what he ought to become. This woman who received the vision and touch of God was able to stand erect and glorify Him. We should be counted among those who dressed in white and bearing palm fronds, stand before the throne of God and worship Him day and night (Rev. 7:9-10). We should appear as a resplendent bride, without any blemish in our goodness. We should stand beside our savior and fight against the satanic forces and attain victory.
These three stages have a parallel in the spiritual history of mankind. The first stage corresponds to life in the Garden of Eden, the symbol of perfection where Adam and Eve stood unashamed before God their Creator. Then came sin and with that sin, humans are bowed down with the weight of their hardships, earning their bread only by the sweat of their brow and leading a life which is more temporal than spiritual and also with backs bent by the weight of sin (Ps. 38:4-6). In the fullness of time came our Lord Jesus Christ, whose touch redeemed man from this world of sin and brought about a spiritual resurrection, like the woman who was healed from her spirit of infirmity.
Let us pray: Jesus, son of David, please heal me also with Your touch. Make me worthy of glorifying You by standing straight with freedom from the bondage of sin.
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