ST GREGORY THE GREAT, PP. D (Memorial)
Gregory was a son of a wealthy Roman senator. He sold his possessions, turned his home into a Benedictine monastery, and used his money to build six monasteries in Sicily and Rome. He was a missionary to England and was elected Pope by unanimous acclamation on 3 September 590, the first monk to be chosen and served as a prefect of Rome for a year. He wrote seminal works on the Mass and Office. He collected the melodies and plain chant that became associated with him, known as Gregorian Chants. Gregory is one of the four great Doctors of the Latin Church.
First Reading: 1Cor 4:6b-15; Psalm: 145. R. v. 18a; Gospel: Lk 6:1-5
CHARITY ABOVE THE LAW
BY FR VALENTINE NNAMDI EGBUONU, MSP
Every Jew regarded the law concerning the Sabbath as sacred. To break the Sabbath law was the gravest of all sins. It was a matter of life and death. It was considered as an insult against Yahweh the Almighty God. So every Jew respected the Sabbath law to the latter. No one dares to break it because the penalty was grave.
Jesus and his disciples knew of this quite well. It is very likely that Jesus was the first to pick up grains to eat before his disciples summoned the courage to do the same. If there was anybody that gave the twelve disciples a total feeling of safety and protection, it was Jesus. When the Pharisees saw what they did, they reacted angrily. The disciples had no courage to speak but it was Jesus who spoke up and defended their action with the experience of David and his servants in 1Sam 21:1-7. Jesus then said to them, “The Son of man is lord of the Sabbath.”
The crux of Jesus’ message today is that charity supersedes the law. Because most times we spend our life defending what is not really necessary to the detriment of what is of utmost importance. Human needs and well-being precedes every other thing in life. Let us think of this: If Jesus could give up his life for the salvation of humanity, does that not tell us that the topmost priority in life is charity towards one another? Let us learn to look out for the good of one another and not basically on the rightness or wrongness of customs and laws.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY
Lord Jesus, help us to put the wellbeing of the human person above every other thing. Amen.
Egbuonu Johnpaul Okey
Uche Edah Philip