My Withered Soul

There are only five (some scholars believe six) healing stories of Jesus that took place on the Sabbath. The first one, which is the only one to appear in all three Synoptic Gospels, is the healing of the withered hand. The oldest rendition of the story is likely the one in the Gospel of Mark: “Again, [Jesus] entered the synagogue. There was a man there who had a withered hand. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Come up here before us.’ Jesus [then] said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was restored.” (NAB, MK 3:1, 3, 5)

The man who needed healing was searching, not necessarily for a restored hand, but for God. He came to the synagogue on the Holy Sabbath, as he was, lame hand and all, to worship and to encounter God, his Creator. We are all somewhat like this man; we all need healing. We might not have a withered, useless hand, but some part(s) of us have become lame, fruitless, and less than desirable. God wants to heal them. God wants to heal us.

Heavenly Father, you who are Creator of the Universe, and who are also the infinitely loving, Divine Healer, heal my withered soul. You know my infirmities, You know my weaknesses, and You know those parts of me that are most in need of your healing touch. Touch me. Heal me. Free me from my defects, so that I may more fully love and serve your Son, Jesus, by loving and serving those around me. Amen.

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