During Lent, we remember the events that led up to the crucifixion. Jesus had come to bring hope and light to the world, but at every step there were those who willingly tried to put out that light. He brought grace and forgiveness, but these gifts were often rejected by those filled with
hatred and fear.
We read in the Gospel of Matthew in the twelfth chapter: It was the Sabbath, and Jesus went
to a synagogue, where there was a man with a paralyzed hand. Some people were there who wanted to accuse Jesus of doing wrong, so they asked him, "Is it against our law to heal on the Sabbath?"
Jesus answered, "What if one of you has a sheep and it falls into a deep hole on the Sabbath? Will
you not take hold of it and lift it out? And a man is worth so much more than a sheep! So then, our Law does allow us to help someone on the Sabbath." Then Jesus said to the man with the paralyzed hand, "Stretch out your hand."
The man stretched out his hand, and it became well again, just like the other one. Then the Pharisees left and made plans to kill Jesus.
Even when Jesus was healing, there were those who could not accept the power and mercy of God. As the Pharisees left to make plans to kill Jesus for healing on the Sabbath, a little of the light which had come into the world was snuffed out by people Jesus had come to save.