One sabbath Jesus was walking through grainfields. As his disciples walked along with him, they began to pick the heads of grain and crush them in their hands. Then the Pharisees said to Jesus, «Look! they are doing what is forbidden on the sabbath!». And He said to them, «Have you never read what David did in his time of need, when he and his men were very hungry? He went into the house of God when Abiathar was High Priest and ate the bread of offering, which only the priests are allowed to eat, and he also gave some to the men who were with him». Then Jesus said to them, «The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath. So the Son of Man is master even of the sabbath».
Many of us live in total or partial ignorance of our personal life. The more we get enlightened of ourselves, the better will be our vision of the world and all in it, including God and the humanity. The world where we live is not always generous with us. The criticism and judgement come very fast, where as mercy and compassion, which come very late than it should be. We are ignorant of the Truth.
However, God taches us to look the world differently and tells us the way He looks at us, filled with compassion and love. God said to prophet Samuel that God looks at the heart, not at the appearances. It is here Jesus affirms that a good act with a bad intention is equally bad. Every act should be an act of love and mercy.
It is in love that we are called to act, not by fear of man-made laws and regulation. The divine law is superior to the law given by Moses and the author of every law is God. In divine law, man is the center of everything. All that God does, is for the human total development, without sacrificing an individual. When human wellbeing is not the centre of a law, God dispose it.
Action of the day: Be flexible in life.
Daily Quote from the early church fathers:
The Lord of the Sabbath,
by John Chrysostom, 547-407 A.D.
"Doubtless he speaks of himself when he mentions the 'Lord of the sabbath' (Mark 2:28, Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5). Mark relates a complementary saying about our common human nature, that “the sabbath was made for humans, not humans for the sabbath (Mark 2:27). Why then should someone who gathered sticks on the sabbath be censured? The law that was established earlier could not be scorned without jeopardizing the law to be given later.
"The sabbath did confer many benefits, great blessings in the earlier dispensation. It made people more gentle toward those close to them. It guided them toward being more sympathetic. It located them temporally within God's creation and providence, as Ezekiel knew (Ezekiel 20:19-20). The sabbath trained Israel by degrees to abstain from evil and disposed them to listen to the things of the Spirit.
"They would have stretched the law out of shape if, when he was giving the law of the sabbath, Jesus had said, 'You can work on the sabbath, but just do good works, do nothing evil.' This would have brought out the worst in them. So he restrained them from doing any works at all on the sabbath. And even this stricter prohibition did not keep them in line. But he himself, in the very act of giving the law of the sabbath, gave them a veiled sign of things to come. For by saying, 'You must do no work, except what shall be done for your life' (Exodus 12:16), he indicated that the intent of the law was to have them refrain from evil works only, not all works. Even in the temple, much went on during the sabbath, and with great diligence and double toil. Thus even by this very shadowy saying Jesus was secretly opening the truth to them. Did Christ then attempt to repeal a law so beneficial as the sabbath law? Far from it. Rather, he greatly magnified the sabbath. For with Christ came the time for everyone to be trained by a higher requirement." (excerpt from THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW, HOMILY 39.3)