"Sorry, we’re closed."
Those words were once used by a comedian to illustrate his close-mindedness (together with the sound effect of a large door slamming shut).
Such close-mindedness (without comedy or apology) is found in tragic abundance in the Pharisees in today’s Gospel (Mark 3:1-6) when our Lord tries to engage them in dialogue.
He said to the Pharisees,
“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,
Jesus 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.
It is easy for us to condemn the Pharisees and to laugh at comedians.
It is less easy for you and I to recognize the ways in which we still close our minds and hearts to Christ.
May we open ourselves to the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that he may open us even more to His truth and love.