St Paul tells us in the First Reading: Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. The Gospel today shows us how God shows his love for us through Jesus. Jesus saw a woman crippled for eighteen years and he set her free from her ailment. The leader of the synagogue was scandalized and scolded the woman. To this, Jesus replied: Ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be set free from this bondage on the Sabbath? This is how God shows his love: by setting us free from what enslaves us. This is also how we are to imitate God: by setting people free from what binds them. What are the things that bind people? Paul mentions these in the First Reading: fornication, impurity of any kind, greed, obscenity, silly and vulgar talk. We are to lead people from these to their inheritance of the kingdom of Christ and of God. We do this, by speaking against these evils. Paul tells us in the First Reading: let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes on those who are disobedient. Christians are to speak against evil and reject those who come with empty words that encourage people to continue to reject God.
The Psalm tells us: happy are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or take the path that sinners tread, or sit in the seat of scoffers; but their delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law, they meditate day and night. We are not to follow the wicked, those who walk with sinners or sit with scoffers of God’s law. Because as St Paul said, these will not inherit the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Lord, lead me to you always. Never let me be misled. Teach me to meditate on your Word and let me obey you.