I draw my reflection on the gospel today that presents an interesting scenario of the pharisees reaction to the law of the sabbath.
The disciples were hungry and plucked grains of corn to eat on sabbath and the Pharisees confronted them about breaking the law of the sabbath. The pharisees were interested in the legal framework and the letters of the law, neglecting the spirit of the law and the needs of human person. However, Jesus response put things straight:
● The law is good but it should help the human person since in the moments of death or critical situations no law obliges.
● Why didn’t the pharisees recognize the claims of mercy over rules and regulations? Their zeal for virtual observance blinded them from the demands of charity. Jesus reminds the pharisees that the sabbath was given for our benefits to refresh and renew us in living for God. It was intended for good and not for evil withholding mercy and kindness in response to human need.
● In fact, for Jesus basic human needs like hunger should be given priority over sabbath observances and Divine worship. The spirit should not be forgotten and that is what the pharisees failed to understand.
● WE ARE LIKE THE PHARISEES WHENEVER WE LOOK AT THE LAW AND NEGLECT HUMAN NEEDS. THE SPIRIT OF THE LAW IS MERCY FOR THE GOOD OF HUMAN PERSON.
● Jesus is the owner or the Lord of sabbath. Lord help us show mercy to all by attending to their needs and not be tied down by laws.
● Lord help us always to renew our faith by how we treat others. May the graces that we get by honoring the Lords Day assist us to enhance our relationship with others.
● May mercy and kindness free us from critical and intolerant Spirit.
Rev. Fr. James K. Mwangi.