The Gospel reading from the Mass for Monday of the 30th Week of Ordinary Time is Luke 13:10-17. 

Having explained the need for men to repent or perish and the need for men to be spiritually fruitful, Christ teaches about the sanctity of the Sabbath and the validity of performing works of mercy on the Sabbath. 

As was His practice, Christ was teaching in the synagogue on the Sabbath. A woman in the crowd was possessed by a demon (spirit of infirmary/bound by Satan) and severely crippled (she couldn’t stand upright) for 18 years. Seeing her, Christ said, “Woman, you are free from your infirmity” and laid His hands on her; she was instantaneously healed.    

The ruler of the synagogue attempts to rebuke Christ, angrily asserting that healing is forbidden on the Sabbath; astonishing in his ignorance, the ruler is blind to both the miracle he has witnessed and that God Himself, the Creator of the Sabbath, is present in Christ. Christ forcefully rebukes and shames His adversaries, revealing their hypocrisy; they care for their beasts who might thirst on the Sabbath but would deny healing to one of their own sisters who has suffering for 18 years. The crowd rejoices at Christ’s miraculous healing. 

Awed by Jesus ChristSon of God, Christ sees beyond the physical to the supernatural; He sees the demonic acts of Satan behind the woman’s physical infirmity.  Divine King, Christ is authoritative and combative, rebuking the ruler of the synagogue. Divine Physician, omnipotent, Christ has the ability to cast out demons and instantaneously heal.  

Being a Heroic Catholic Man

1) The Church’s teachings are increasingly being attacked but many Catholic men are afraid or don’t know how to respond. Reflect on Christ’s vigorous rebuke and manly defense of Truth and pray that He might help you to grow in knowledge of the faith and the fortitude to act when warranted. 

2) The severely crippled woman, despite her 18-year disability, is blessed to have sufficient faith and hope to persevere by attending synagogue.  Reflect upon Suffering (CCC 164, 272, 385, 618, 1264, 1500-1502, 1521) and pray for Christ help you endure personal suffering and to comfort those who suffer with chronic illness and disability.  

3) While demonic possession is scorned today or associated with dramatic supernatural violence (wild convulsions, vile blasphemous uttering), Christ confirms in the healing of the crippled woman that demonic possession can be subtle and appear to be normal illness.  Refresh your understanding of Satan and Demons (CCC 409, 421, 447, 539, 550, 566, 635-636, 1086, 1708, 2850-2854) and pray for Christ to be on the alert for the demonic and to guide you to seek the help of a priest if you suspect the presence of Satan.