Daily Reflection – 7/19/19
Jesus was going through a field of grain on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick the heads of grain and eat them. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “See, your disciples are doing what is unlawful to do on the Sabbath.” He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry, how he went into the house of God and ate the bread of offering, which neither he nor his companions but only the priests could lawfully eat? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests serving in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I say to you, something greater than the temple is here. If you knew what this meant, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned these innocent men. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” (Matthew 12: 1-8)
Jesus did break the rules on rare occasions, as he did in today’s gospel. He also talked to a Samaritan woman at the well, healed on the sabbath, and defended an adulteress who by their own law should have been stoned to death. What is the familiar theme that is beginning to emerge from Christ’s acts of healing?
Love, compassion, and mercy is the common theme that ran throughout Christ’s ministry. Not that he disregarded the rules entirely, as we can tell in today’s gospel, when he defended both his own actions and that of his disciples, by using the scriptures themselves.
Jesus stood up for his disciples and he is our advocate as well. The devil accuses us, but Christ defends us. His goodness is always stronger than the devil’s accusations. The Pharisees allowed evil into their hearts when they accused Jesus and his disciples of breaking the sabbath. Love did not rule in their hearts, because they were too busy finding fault with others. We should remember this the next time we go to find fault with others too.
If I am still fearful of judgment day, then I should stop judging others. Why? Because the Lord said, “Stop judging and you will never be judged. Stop condemning, and you will never be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven” (Luke 6:37). If you ever wondered what is required to enter the express lane to Heaven, you now know
God and Jesus both love us in the same way. Jesus goes to where we are at in life, to bring his love to us personally. At no point in our lives does Jesus abandon us. What a comfort it is to know that you are not alone. We journey this way together, and it is a truly beautiful gift.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, make us to walk in your way: ‘Where there is love and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance; where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor annoyance; where there is poverty and joy, there is neither greed nor avarice; where there is peace and contemplation, there is neither care nor restlessness; where there is the fear of God to guard the dwelling, there no enemy can enter; where there is mercy and prudence, there is neither excess nor harshness’; this we know through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Prayer of Francis of Assisi, 1182-1226)
We are quick to judge! We are quick to condemn, on and off the road. We are quick to seek out justice, and yet we do not see the wooden beam in our own eye. Christians are called to point out God’s Commandments, to be the light of the world, but we must also point out God’s enormous capacity to forgive our trespasses; to be a sign of hope. We are called to unite the world with God’s love and truth.