Including Others for Spiritual Wholeness

Nov 15, 2020

Today’s post is based on a recent homily that Fr. Michael Schleupner gave at Mass for the Sisters of Bon Secours. Let’s prayerfully read this lesson from scripture and remember to welcome all of God’s children into our hearts.

Including Others for Spiritual Wholeness

Readings:   Philippians 1:1-11, Luke 14:1-6

This morning I want to point out two details in the gospel. And I think each detail has some lesson for us.

First, today we see the fourth time in Luke’s gospel where Jesus heals someone on a Sabbath day. There are two incidents of this in John’s gospel and one in Mark’s – a total of seven such incidents where Jesus heals on the Sabbath.

What is the significance? Why the Sabbath and why not a Monday or Friday or whenever?

The idea seems to be that the physical healing points to spiritual healing. Jesus physically heals on the Sabbath to highlight the spiritual healing that the Sabbath is all about, the spiritual wholeness that he as God brings to human life.

Jesus now offers us that spiritual healing through the Eucharist and the other sacraments, through the inspired Word of God, and also through the wisdom and compassion of one another. It is helpful for us to recall how Jesus offers us spiritual healing and wholeness today.

Then, Jesus does this healing while he is having dinner with a leading Pharisee. Throughout Luke’s gospel, Jesus shares meals with those labeled as sinners – like tax collectors.

And he shares meals with those not labeled as sinners but who still are sinners – like the religious leaders who were sinners because of their self-righteousness.

Jesus consistently draws others to God by being with them, by communion with them. He does not try to do this by excluding or shunning others or keeping distant from them.

I think this is a lesson that we as a Church and we as individual persons of faith need to bear in mind.  We draw others to God by including and not by excluding.

So, two details in today’s passage and each of them, I believe, contains an important lesson for us.


~ Father Michael Schleupner