“Cleanse out the old leaven, for Christ, our paschal lamb, has been sacrificed.”
A reading from the first Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 5 : 1-8)
Brethren: It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and of a kind that is not found even among pagans; for a man is living with his father’s wife. And you are arrogant! Ought you not rather to mourn? Let him who has done this be removed from among you. For though absent in body I am present in spirit, and as if present, I have already pronounced judgement in the name of the Lord Jesus on the man who has done such a thing. When you are assembled, and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens all the dough? Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be new dough, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Paschal Lamb, has been sacrificed. Let us, therefore, celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps5:5-6.7.12 (R. 9a)
R/. Lead me, Lord, in your justice.
You are no God who delights in evil;
no sinner is your guest.
The boastful shall not stand their ground
before your eyes. R.
All who do evil you despise;
all who lie you destroy.
The deceitful and those who shed blood,
the Lord detests. R.
All who take refuge in you shall be glad,
and ever cry out their joy.
You shelter them; in you they rejoice,
those who love your name. R.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.
“They watched him to see if he would heal on the sabbath.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke (Luke 6 :6- 11)
It happened that, on a sabbath, when Jesus entered the synagogue and taught, a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. But he knew their thoughts, and he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” And he rose and stood there. And Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?” And he looked around on them all, and said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” And he did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
The Gospel of the Lord.
The law is made for man but man is made for God. When the law stands in the way of salvation, the Lord dispenses with the law and reaches out with love and compassion. In the gospel of today, Jesus knew he was being watched by the scribes and Pharisees but in defiance and with compassion he healed the man with a withered hand. How much value do you and I place on human life? Are we afraid to do good because we fear what people might say? Are we ready to dispense with any law that stifles love and compassion? At home, do we have laws that say we must not give water to the stranger? Is it lawful to do good on a Sabbath or to do evil? Yes! The Christians life is faith-in-action; we must spread the banner of God’s love and compassion regardless of the law. Let us pray for the courage to do what is right even when it is hard.