Jesus heals an infirm woman by James Tissot

I have written numerous times in this blog that one of the primary (If not THE Primary) solutions to many of our social ills today is a proper understanding – in fact recognition – of the human person.

In today’s Gospel, (Luke 13:10-17) there is a woman present in the Synagogue where Jesus is teaching.  She for eighteen years ‘had been crippled by a spirit; she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.’  She made no demand or request of Jesus.  She was simply ‘present’ before Jesus, in the midst of the assembly in a synagogue – and Jesus SAW her.  Jesus NOTICED her and her illness.

And, Jesus called her, laid his hands on her, and set her free of her infirmity.

It does not get any more basic than that – recognize the human person who is before us – day to day.  Sometimes we are not as capable as Jesus to make a significant difference – but we can acknowledge the human person, call them by name – engage them on a personal – human level, and thus acknowledge the dignity that is theirs as a child of God.

This past Saturday, Pope Francis in remarks about the future of Europe, also recognized the fundamental need for society today to rediscover the human person; to place the human person once again at the center of society and the economy.  His remarks to the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community can be found here.

Please, take the time to give this address a read, and then, take some time to prayerfully consider the implications for how each of us can elevate the dignity of the human person in the spheres of influence that are ours.

Who is my neighbor? The human person who is before me.