The Regnum Christi Movement offers its members some guidelines of a gospel-based spirituality as an ideal of Christian life. The spiritual path that Regnum Christi members walk mainly consists in knowing, loving, imitating, and proclaiming Christ. This is the path and these are the goals.
Below, we offer some resources that can help nurture the spiritual life of Movement members and of any Christian.
Daily Prayer 2013-01-23
Listen to podcast version here.
To Do Good or Evil?
| SPIRITUAL LIFE
Wednesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time
Father Walter Schu, LC
Jesus entered the
synagogue. There was a man there who had a
withered hand. They watched him closely to see if
he would cure him on the sabbath so that they
might accuse him. He said to the man with
the withered hand, "Come up here before us." Then he
said to them, "Is it lawful to do good
on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to
save life rather than to destroy it?" But they remained
silent. Looking around at them with anger and grieved
at their hardness of heart, he said to the
man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out and
his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out
and immediately took counsel with the Herodians against him to
put him to death.
Introductory Prayer: Lord, I believe in you. Thank you for
the gift of faith, more precious than life itself.
I hope in you. May the dark waters of doubt
never break through my dike of hope. I love
you. I want to let you purify me, so that
my love for you may be more ardent and
Petition: Lord, help me to
bear witness to you even in adverse circumstances.
1. “They Watched Him Closely”:At the beginning of his
public ministry, Christ already incurs the bitter opposition of
the Pharisees. Having reduced them to silence in a wheat
field, Christ bravely enters the synagogue to confront them
once again. There the Pharisees are in the first
places of honor, and they watch his every move,
hoping he will cure against the laws of the Sabbath,
so that they might accuse him. The Pharisees were
right about one thing. They did well to observe Christ
closely. If only they had done so with the
right spirit: to learn from him and to glorify
God for the wonders he did through him. How closely
do we watch Christ in our own lives? How
readily do we perceive his actions through the circumstances
of the day? How often do we glorify God for
the great things Christ does and longs to do
2. To Do Good or Evil? Christ
obliges the Pharisees. With fearless courage he calls the
man with the withered hand forward, so that no one
can mistake what he is about to do. Then
he puts his antagonists in a dilemma with two clear
questions. First: “Is it lawful to do good on
the sabbath rather than to do evil?” “They are
bound to admit that it is lawful to do good;
and it is a good thing he proposed to
do. They are bound to deny that it is lawful
to do evil; and, yet, surely it is an
evil thing to leave a man in wretchedness when it
is possible to help him.” (William Barclay, The
Gospel of Mark, pp. 68-69) Then Christ asks the second
question: “Is it lawful to save life rather than
to destroy it?” “Here he is driving the thing
home. He is taking steps to save this wretched man’s
life; they are thinking out methods of killing Christ.
On any reckoning it is surely a better thing to
be thinking about helping a man than it is
to be thinking of killing a man. No wonder
they had nothing to say!” (Ibid.)
3. “Angered by
Their Hardness of Heart”:Seldom does the Gospel show Christ angry.
Here his anger is provoked by the hypocrisy of
the Pharisees and their hardness of heart. They close
themselves off from his message of salvation. What happens when
someone definitively closes his heart to Christ? The Pharisees,
the defenders of the law and Jewish customs, were
bitter enemies of the Herodians, who collaborated with King
Herod and the Romans. Yet this Gospel relates the chilling
fact that these two joined forces to plot to
kill Jesus. They are united not by the intrinsic
force of goodness, but by the malignant power of evil.
Do I at times make small concessions to hypocrisy,
envy or even hatred? These could slowly harden my
heart toward Christ. Am I willing to be courageous like
Christ and endure even bitter opposition for the sake
of the Gospel?
Conversation with Christ: Thank you,
Lord, for your goodness and courage. How small I feel
when I compare myself with you in the Gospel.
What an infinite distance separates us! Thank you for
calling me — with all of my weakness, sins, and
limitations — to be your apostle. Help me never
to surrender to evil in my heart, but to
grow in goodness of heart in order to be more
Resolution: I will do a good deed for
someone today, even if it is difficult, in order
to bear witness to Christ.
The daily meditation is a service of Regnum Christi that offers people a Gospel reflection through e-mail. You can view the weekly meditation on this link or listen the podcast version here.
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