First Reading: Rom 9:1-5; Psalm: 147. R. v. 12a; Gospel: Lk 14:1-6
THE TWO GREAT LESSONS
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
The Sabbath was a sacred day for the Jews. A day to abstain from any kind of work. It was on this day that Jesus was invited to dine in the house of a ruler who belonged to the Pharisee. As Jesus was on his way, the Pharisees began to watch him because there was a man along that way who had dropsy. The Pharisees were waiting to pounce on Jesus and accuse him of breaking the Sabbath should he heal the sick man. When Jesus saw the sick man, he stopped, took him by the hand, healed him, and let him go.
For the Pharisees, everything had just played out the way they wanted it. Jesus just broke the Sabbath rule and should be punished accordingly. But Jesus immediately opened their eyes to their blind spot with a question. “Which of you, having a son or an ox that has fallen into a well, will not immediately pull him out on a Sabbath day?” And they could not answer his question; meaning they were guilty of what they condemn.
There are two important messages Jesus gives us in this gospel. The first is that the wellbeing of the human person surpasses every law; even the law of the Sabbath. The second is that when we put ourselves in the shoes of those who suffering some predicaments, we could be more compassionate in our thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, we are guilty of the actions we judge and condemn in certain people. We could even be doing worse. But once it concerns other people, we are very quick to forget how vulnerable we could be when found in similar situation. When we pick up stones to throw at others, we can see that the grains of sand on our palm already condemn us. Little wonder we quickly dust it off.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to value the dignity of the human person, and to love rather than condemn. Amen.