Why We Should Pray With Saint Paul For The Jews

Friday of Week 30 in Ordinary Time - Cycle I

Rom. 5:1-5 & Lk. 14:1-6

The fact that many of his fellow Jews were rejecting Jesus caused Saint Paul to lament. He goes so far as to say that he would be willing to sacrifice his own salvation in order that his people would be saved. Such a statement expresses the great sadness he feels that his people have not accepted Jesus as their Saviour.

Another great servant of God, Moses, voiced a similar sentiment. After the Israelites had angered God with their gold calf he said, “Forgive their sin – but if not, blot me out of the book that you have written.” (Ex. 32:32).

Paul continued his lament by listing seven blessings the world had received through the Jewish people and still they did not accept Jesus.

This gives us the opportunity to thank God for the rich heritage He gave us through the Israelites. May we also pray for the day when our Jewish brothers and sisters will recognise and accept all the blessings they have been given, the greatest being Jesus Christ.

Luke, the doctor, uses the technical term "dropsy” to diagnose the disease of the man who was cured by Jesus in today's Gospel reading. We are told that this cure was performed while Jesus was having a meal at the home of a leading Pharisee.

Considering all the opposition that Jesus gave the Pharisees, we can wonder why He was asked to a meal. The circumstances in this case make one think it must have been a set-up, to find some way to accuse Jesus. Why was the suffering man seated directly in front of Him? Why was it a Sabbath day and why were other Pharisees and lawyers present? Having cured the man, Jesus sent him away, perhaps to avoid him being involved in the ill-feeling which was to follow.

Then Jesus asked them if one of their sons or their ox fell into a well on the Sabbath would they not do all they can to pull them out? Of course they would! Then why complain when on a Sabbath day He cured a man who is ill? They could give Jesus no answer. Their silence highlighted their hypocrisy. Yes, Sunday is a day of rest, but that should not stop us from doing good when we can.

Lord Jesus, bring about a speedy conversion of the Jews, Your chosen people. Preserve us from all hypocrisy.