Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Christ Restoring Health to the Hunched Woman

Luke 13: 11-17

In Luke's gospel Jesus reveals a particularly courteous affection for women, making this one of the most joyful accounts found in the gospels. Here, a woman appears who has been disabled for eighteen years. Poor lady, she is doubled over and can only view the ground. We can imagine her joy, when the first thing she sees after the miracle is the face of Jesus!

Of course, as the cure takes place on the Sabbath, the temple officials are put out. As if God would withhold healing because it's the Sabbath! What was going on with them that they couldn't share the joy? It's such  a disappointment when religion becomes sour and withholding. Anyway, that doesn't stop Jesus. Here in the icon some of the apostles are gathered closely behind Jesus. We see the village landscape and the synagogue in the background. The woman is smiling - she knows Jesus will help! She is dressed in a rosy colored robe - like the pink in one's cheeks when we are becoming well again.

On a Sabbath Christ straightened the woman who'd been bound for eighteen years,
while the resentful synagogue president taunted the Redeemer.
But we, with that healed woman,
now glorify Christ the Lord!

Let us flee from the Pharisee's thinking
which forgets expansive love.
Yes, while faithfully observing our obligations to God,
let us not neglect Christ's law of love for our neighbor.

The Pharisees cannot share the joy
of God's working as God wills.
Yes, let us share each other's joy
and celebrate God's nearness, overcoming dark with light.

While her ailment was physical, mine is interior:
bent over as I am with anxiety and loss.
But with the straightened woman, I glorify Christ,
who stands me upright in wholeness.

In anger the Lord castigates the hypocrite:
you are not what you appear to be.
No rather, let us make of ourselves a new likeness
living in growth and authenticity.

Let us praise the Healer, Christ in Glory,
who came into our world to salvage humankind.
Oh Christ, who heals the woman and the others with disease,
You advance upon our deformity from within!

Let us all be filled with the love of Christ,
knowing tender compassion for those we meet.
Yes, let us be whole and perfected through Christ,
and with our brothers and sisters gain en-spirited life.

Once a woman approached Christ with faith in him;
she sought the healing which would stand her upright.
At once, the Savior's Word went out and healed her completely,
for Christ is Lord and God!

A possessing Spirit has crippled this woman
and so the healing she seeks is spiritual.
Look! Let us move with Christ against Satan's empire,
and rejoice with him in establishing God's rule!

His adversaries were confounded, while the people joyful at the signs he worked:
Christ, establishing the pre-eminence of love.
Yes Lord, let us love well,
and like the new-standing woman, see you face to face.


  1. Amen! I feel very uplifted and filled with love. Let us all open our hearts to God's love and healing!

  2. We are all hypocrites. We say or do one thing while our reality might be something completely different. God see through it when we cannot bear to admit the truth even to ourselves. These characters in the Bible asked for healing. Will God heal us from within, even if we don't know to ask for it? Even though we believe the love we receive from God is strong enough to penetrate the thickest armor, don't we have to open our hearts and ask for our innermost deformity to be removed? How do we let God overcome our darkness if we are not ready to let in the light? Worse, what if we bare our diseased selves and still feel suspended in the darkness? I want us all to be filled with the love of Christ so that we can feel whole in the light.