In the study of literature there is a constant that applies to every story written or spoken. St. Luke opens this story answering the basic questions where, when, what and why. These questions help us understanding the Lord’s quest to solve the Jewish problem. Where…Jesus is at the Pharisees table and so in his home. When…it is the Sabbath, the day which does not permit any work whatsoever. What…He is there to eat bread. Why…drags us into the conflict which is the heart of the story and of the problem.
The issue is clear: can God heal on the Sabbath while the elite Jew watches and is ready to condemn Him as a law breaker. Hence the question: “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” The elite Jews will not answer and so Jesus acts and heals the man of dropsy. Then the
development of the problem of Pride leads Our Lord to speak of the Pharisees natural response if their beast of burden (ox or ass) were to fall into a hole. They would rescue the animal but they would not desire the salvation of the man. Pride expresses itself in avarice. The animal is worth more than a poor sick man. Two qualities are imbedded in the character of the elite Jew: we find an arrogance and desire to think the worst of an innocent person who seeks to love his neighbor. Then we find the desire for the preservation of capitol…save the beast but not the man.
Finally a third characteristic is exposed by the manner in which the Jewish elite sought the first places in the seating arrangement. It indicates their desire to have the best in this world while denying that any man (goyim) has any right to a place at all. Their lust for power, riches and position are driving our world to the brink of a third world war utilizing nuclear weapons. It does not matter to them that two-thirds or more of mankind will be wiped off the face of the earth. Their desire is to rule and so there must be a limited amount of slaves for their new world order.
After the third world war has destroyed much that man has made then the elite Jew will crawl out from under the earth and begin their dictatorship over whatever and whoever is left. Then they may find that what they wanted is not so great after all. They may even learn that pride always goes before a fall and that the humble shall truly inherit the earth. They have done the bidding of their master devil, Satan, and now Satan will pay them back as he has with all the others that rebelled with him against God. He places them with himself in the pit of hell.
Pride yields to humility; greed yields to poverty; position yields to humility. One can choose to follow the path of the devil who would not serve or one can see in the virtues that heaven begins in the practice of humbling ourselves in just the same manner as our Savior. The Jew is behind the evil in this world for they have rejected the real presence of Jesus, the Son of God. They have chosen to be like their master, Lucifer. The result is the same always: sin begets our death.
Humility is that foundational light within the heart of a man that recognizes that he is nothing and that if he is capable of any good it is due to grace from our merciful God. Humility will carry all the other virtues in its train. Let us strive to live the humble life in all we say, think or do. We shall be imitating the humble maiden of Nazareth, our Blessed other. She can and will offer us this gift from her immaculate heart. God bless us with this great love for humility for in it we will conquer the Evil One and his cohorts.
In the hearts of Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Fr. Richard Voigt