He entered again into a synagogue; and a man was there whose hand was withered. They were watching him to see if he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Get up and come forward!’ And he said to them, ‘Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?’ But they kept silent. After looking around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ And he stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately began conspiring with the Herodians against him, as to how they might destroy him.” (Mk 3: 1-6) Hell hath no fury, I would say, like the rage of a Pharisee against the new. Because a self-righteous person treasures his/her old self, and hell is incapable of offering anything new. But the Good News of my Lord brings unexpected paradoxes, like the liberating fact that a loss of the old self is a condition for finding a new one, in Him. Today let me not fear Christ entering into my “synagogue” and stirring things up a bit. Let me let Him detach me from my old patterns, which may have me going around in circles, in self-reliance. Christ sheds new light on my darkness, offering change where I might prefer self-affirmation. Paradoxically, He makes strength arise out of my weakness, when I am willing to admit it.

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