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He Kept Going To The Synagogue


The man with the withered hand.  From The Gospel Life of Jesus: With Alexandre Bida Illustrations. by Edward Eggleston. New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1874 via www.marysrosaries.com

The man with the withered hand. From The Gospel Life of Jesus: With Alexandre Bida Illustrations. by Edward Eggleston. New York: Fords, Howard, & Hulbert, 1874
via http://www.marysrosaries.com

A special story for me in the Gospels has to do with the miracle Jesus worked on the man with the withered arm in the synagogue of Nazareth on the Sabbath. According to the story, the young man, a bricklayer by trade, discovered his arm drying up.  What can a bricklayer do with one useless arm and hand?  In time, his wife and children found themselves destitute, with the breadwinner of the family becoming a cripple.

The beauty of the story lies in the fact that the unfortunate man continued going to the synagogue on the Sabbath to give worship to God. Instead of rejecting God in bitterness and despair, the crippled bricklayer reached out for the Almighty in prayer and hope.

One Sabbath day, Jesus came into the synagogue to preach. On seeing the state of the young worker, standing devoutly in prayer and song, the Lord brought new wholeness to the arm and hand.  Because of the man’s presence in the House of Prayer, Jesus was able to meet him and give him complete health.  The miracle happened because the man never stopped going to the synagogue to sing God’s praises.

An incredible number of hardships can come into the lives of the people of God, a litany of sufferings too long to mention. In these dark days, many drop their friendship with God, whom they once loved.  Some give up all interest in life.  Others, like the man in the Gospel story above, keep going to the House of Worship, their Church, to offer prayer and sacrifice to the Creator.

On weekends, suffering men, women and children make their way into our neighborhood churches with hearts filled with love for the Lord. The Jesus of the Gospel story recounted above will meet them in the Place of Prayer and use their sicknesses to work mighty miracles for His Honor and Glory.  To the sick He will give wholeness of mind and spirit, enabling them to use this visitation of suffering to fall deeper in love with God.

On some occasions, the Loving Christ offers complete physical health to the ailing bodies and minds of His faithful people. All of us should read of this bricklayer of long ago, because he kept going to the synagogue after adversity struck.

Fr. George Mc Kenna

April 24, 2016 - Posted by | Bulletins | , , , , , ,

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