16 Jan 2018: Law and Charity

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Tuesday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1:1 SM 16:1-13; Gospel: MK 2:23-28

There is a well-known story about a swami and a cat which we all are familiar with. How rats were disturbing his homas to eradicate which he bought a cat and how the cat ate all the rats and started disturbing the homas due to which he had to tie the cat during the homas and how even after the death of the swami, his disciples continued to tie the cat and finally how after the death of the cat, they bought another cat and tied it during the sacrifice to which a theological interpretation was given afterwards is well known to us. This is what would happen to us when we blindly follow the tradition without knowing the essence of it. Today’s Gospel passage offers such an idea. Law is good but without charity, it becomes a burdensome one. Law is an external shell while love that guides it is the core. Very often we confuse the shell – the Laws and the traditions – as the ultimate without knowing that without love these laws would be useless. Sabbath is good – a day set aside to pray and to reflect on God – but when one is in need, his need and wants are to be given more priority than the stipulations of Sabbath. This is charity. The danger of Christianity today would be its emphasis on legalistic aspect without being attentive to the individual circumstances. Law and charity should go together. One isolated from the other is incomplete and would be a mere deviation.

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