First Reading: Ex 11:10-12:14; Psalm: 116 R. v. 13; Gospel: Mt 12:1-8
LOVE AND MERCY SHOULD BE LOUDER
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The disciples of Jesus were introduced to a certain way of living when they chose to follow Jesus. By choosing to preach the gospel, they chose a nomadic life. Moving from place to place can be exhausting. And the fact that the job they now do yielded no profit meant they would have to depend on the generosity of people to feed. This made life tough for them especially whenever they were famished. They must be very hungry to have decided to eat raw grains without cooking them. Maybe, there was no other food readily available. Because if there was, scarcely will they choose to feed on such a raw tasteless food.
The law of keeping the Sabbath Day holy was interpreted into thirty-nine minor laws by the Pharisees. Among other things, these laws forbade carrying a burden on the Sabbath, reaping, winnowing, threshing and preparing a meal. So the disciples of Jesus were culpable because by plucking heads of grain, they were guilty of reaping. By rubbing it in their hands they were guilty of threshing. And by separating the grain from the chaff they were guilty of winnowing. This was the argument of the Pharisees. But these men were blind. What God desires is mercy and not sacrifice.
Jesus wants us to look beyond our worldview. He wants us to move beyond certain religious obligations we feel we must keep and begin to prioritise the well-being of one another. Jesus wants us to bring our feelings into our religious practices so as to understand that love and mercy supersedes laws. What God wants from us is sincere and transparent love that transcends our fears, mistakes, and our desire for perfection. It is a worthless effort to be frequent in Church and worship but cold-blooded to the sorry condition of those around us. What God desires is mercy and not sacrifice.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, give us the heart that truly seeks to love. Amen.