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Growing in Compassion

September 5, Monday of the 23rd Week in Ordinary Time
Daily Readings: 1 Corinthians 5:1-8 & Gospel: Luke 6:6-11

“Stretch out your hand.”

In today’s Gospel, we experience the growing tension between the scribes and the Pharisees on the one side and Jesus on the other. The scribes and Pharisees continue to be on the lookout for finding fault with Jesus, and this time, comes up with a question involving the Sabbath. Jesus, however, is aware of their intention and doesn’t hesitate to challenge them. “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath rather than to do evil, to save life rather than to destroy it?” And right in front of their eyes, he taunts them by healing a man with a withered hand!

Are we like the scribes and Pharisees, always caught up with rules and structures, that we fail to see our brothers and sisters around us suffering and in need of our help? Do we hide behind our regular duties and tasks to avoid stretching out our hand to care for the other because it may be a big inconvenience on our part? Are we so preoccupied with our own needs that we take for granted the person beside us looking for comfort?  

Friend, Christ is challenging us to set our priorities right. That love and compassion for the other should outweigh everything else. That caring for and giving comfort to a neighbor who is sick is paramount. Just as he did, he is inviting us to say to the other, “Stretch out your hand.” For all we know, the only thing that person needs may be our smile of reassurance or a listening ear or a friendly touch.

We pray that the compassion of Christ continues to grow in our hearts. We pray that as Christ’s disciples, we will know how to respond positively to the cries around us, especially those of the weak and the suffering.


Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.”  Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.