22 January 2019; To serve him in our neighbor

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Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Reading 1Heb 6:10-20Gospel Mk 2:23-28

In today’s gospel we can see two positions. The Pharisees accusing the disciples for breaking the Sabbath law, and Jesus confronting the criticism of the Pharisees to defend His disciples.  By plucking the corn they were guilty of reaping; by rubbing it in their hands they were guilty of threshing; by separating the grain and the chaff they were guilty of winnowing, and by the whole process they were guilty of preparing a meal on the Sabbath day. There is no doubt whatever that from their own point of view, the Scribes and Pharisees were entirely justified in finding fault with the disciples for breaking the law and with Jesus for allowing them, if not encouraging them, to do so. To meet the criticism of the Scribes and Pharisees Jesus put forward three arguments, this contains mainly three fundamental points;

  1. Quoting the action of David He claims that human need and human hunger should take precedence over any ritual custom and practice.
  2. Worship offered to God took precedence of all the Sabbath rules and regulations.
  3. What God desires far more than ritual sacrifice is kindness.

Jesus insisted that the greatest ritual service is the service of human need. We have no evidence that Jesus conducted church service in all of His life on earth, but we have abundance of evidence that he fed the hungry, and comforted the sad and cared for the sick. Christian service is not the service of any liturgy or ritual, it is the service of human need. We are called and invited to involve in all the tragedies and problems of human situation. Worshipping of God would mean, helping the poor, holding close the broken hearted and living a psalm of gratitude.

 

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