Jesus frees

Free curved woman

There was a woman there who had had a spirit that kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not stand up in any way.

Jesus saw her, called her to himself and said to her: "Woman, you are free from your infirmity", and He laid His hands on her. Immediately she straightened up and glorified God.

Gospel - Luke [13, 10-17]

Once He was teaching in a synagogue on the Sabbath day. There was a woman there who had had a spirit that kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not stand up in any way. Jesus saw her, called her to Himself and said to her: "Woman, you are free from your infirmity", and He laid His hands on her. Immediately she straightened up and glorified God.

But the head of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had made that healing on the Sabbath, addressing the crowd said: "There are six days in which you have to work; in those days, therefore, come to be healed and not on the Sabbath day". The Lord replied: "Hypocrites, does not each one of you release the ox or the donkey from the barn on the Sabbath, to bring him to drink?

And this daughter of Abraham, whom Satan had kept tied up for eighteen years, was it not to be released from this bond on the Sabbath day? "When he said these things, all his opponents were ashamed, while the whole crowd rejoiced for all the wonders He performed.

Exegesis - Gospel Luke [13, 10-17]

In this story there is the description of a sick woman, bent over, unable to straighten up due to a deformation in the lower part of the spine, which had reduced her to a physical state of severe disability. She was condemned forever to a condition of inferiority among people, she was rejected, condemned to social degradation and, by the Pharisaic law, forbidden from standing before God, in joy and exultation as a creature and daughter of God.

Jesus saw her, just as many others had seen her and others knew her and believed she was suffering from an irreversible disease. However, Jesus' diagnosis is different: he affirms that her pathology is the work of evil and of the Evil One, who keeps her curled up and folded in on herself. To the look, Jesus follows the action, he does not remain indifferent in the face of misery; seeing her impediment that keeps her tied up, He calls her aloud and tells her: "Woman, you are free from your infirmity", and places His hand on hers; He gives her the grace to become a creature in the image and likeness of God, a "daughter of Abraham".

It is not the woman who seeks the Lord or asks him for help, it is Jesus who sees her, realizes her situation and brings her out of her condition of slavery from evil, first through an effective word, then with a gesture makes her free.

The following verses highlight the dramatic epilogue of this good deed: the head of the synagogue and many others make negative comments, stiff as they are in their human positions; they do not understand the meaning of Jesus' action, they do not accept the healing carried out on the Sabbath day, the day dedicated to corporal rest, to abstaining from any work dictated by the human condition and aimed exclusively at worship; with this hardness of heart they end up, however, becoming collaborators of Satan.

What is surprising in this story is that Jesus takes the initiative and carries out an action which, in addition to freeing the sick woman, serves to teach people how to free themselves from the conditioning or obstacles that prevent spiritual growth. Jesus always intervenes to give help, it is he who takes the initiative so that those realities that seem dead or that seem, as in Zacchaeus, a hopeless case actually solvable and, through him, become the means to return to being "children of Abraham".

The Lord always takes care of the oppressed: "the Lord supports those who falter and raises up whoever has fallen" (Ps 144,14) and again "the Lord raises up those who have fallen".
(Ps 145,8).

Oppression is something that takes your breath away, Jesus says "I will restore you", which means "I will give you your breath again in order to be able to return to live fully and resume walking on the way of the Lord".

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