Saturday, September 5, 2015

Reflection: Luke 6:1-5

Saturday of the 22nd Week in Ordinary Time — Luke 6:1-5

Imagine this: The disciples are walking through a field of grain on the Sabbath. As they talk together, they automatically pick some of the grain and begin to rub the shell off of it and eat the wheat. I doubt that they decided to do this but it was a natural thing for them to do. However, some of the Pharisees who were watching Jesus and his disciples accused them of breaking Jewish law. After all, the law clearly said that no work was to be done on the Sabbath.

Technically, it may be true that the disciples may have broken the law. However, they did not make a deliberate decision to pick and eat the grain. It simply was an automatic action. However, the Pharisees constantly were looking for reasons to criticize Jesus and his band of followers. This gave them the perfect opportunity to do so.

Jesus simply said to the Pharisees: “Do you remember when David and his companions went into the house of God, took the bread of offering and ate it? They were hungry and no food was available. Yet according to the law, this bread was only to be eaten by the priests.” Jesus’ next statement must have riled and perhaps confused the Pharisees. He simply said: “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Law is essential in our world. If we did not have laws, anyone could do what they wanted to do and there would be no consequences for harming another person, stealing what does not belong to us or swindling people out of their life savings. Law serves a higher purpose. The purpose of the law is to ensure that our world is to protect the rights of the individual, states, countries and the world.

However, today the Pharisees are nit-picking. As always, they were watching Jesus for any possible infringement of Mosaic Law. When the Pharisees realized that Jesus’ disciples had plucked a few of the grains and automatically eaten them, they had the perfect opportunity to accuse Jesus and his disciples of breaking the law of Moses. And they immediately did so!

Jesus did not hesitate. He forcefully reminded them: “Have you not read that when David and his companions were hungry, they went into the house of God, took the bread of offering and ate it? Under the law, only the priests could eat the bread.” Jesus then said: “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

Do we begin nit-picking when it serves our purpose? I am sure that most of us do not like it when others scrutinize our behaviors, attitudes or actions. Yet, it is extremely easy to fall into this pattern. However, when we become aware that we are judging another, we can stop, breath and then release the judgment. Jesus is the judge and the jury, not us.

Today and every day, strive to practice non-judgment. We may find that our day flows more smoothly and that we may be happier and more relaxed!

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